It is with an everlasting love and kindness that our God draws us to Himself (Jeremiah 31:3). This is true for all men. May Pastor Tim’s story give you hope that no one is beyond salvation and that God desires to give you the peace and fulfillment you long for!
From Bondage to Freedom
Tim Mattox was born and raised by his mother in the United States of America, where he lived a fairly normal life until he reached his early teens. Struggling with growing insecurities of adolescence, Tim began to experiment with alcohol and drugs to gain the acceptance of friends and peers. When, at the age of 16, he lost his mother to cancer, Tim became very angry and disillusioned with life and began to turn more frequently to stronger drugs to numb the pain and sense of loss he experienced. Eventually as Tim reached his early twenties he had completely lost all sense of purpose and worth, and began indiscriminately doing whatever was necessary to maintain his drug habits.
As he became more and more desperate to feed his addictions, his actions eventually landed him in jail. It was in his jail cell, clear-headed for the first time in years, that Tim began to awaken to the reality of what he had become. He felt a crippling sense of desperation and hopelessness as he surveyed the trail of destruction left behind by his life.
In what Tim recognizes now as an act of God’s providence, he found himself thumbing through a small Bible found in the cell. Opening up to the book of Matthew, he began to read. What began as a struggle to read and understand soon captured his imagination as the pages narrated the extraordinary life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Soon Tim’s awakened understanding turned into a fully surrendered heart as the truths and light of Jesus’ teaching pierced the darkness of his life like a burning noon-day sun.
Tim realized God was offering him, at the lowest point in his life, a brand new start! He understood what God was saying through the words, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…do not worry about tomorrow.” (Matthew 6:33-34). The conviction was so powerful, God’s audible voice rang in his heart -“If you make Me your priority in life, I will make you the priority of Mine!” Well, you can imagine what kind of response such an offer would evoke from any sane person – complete acceptance! Over 20 years later, he still remembers it like it was yesterday.
Under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, Tim confessed his sins to God that day and invited Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. The painful, empty and visionless life he led earlier was replaced with joy, purpose, and a future. Ephesians 2:4,5, taught him, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” For the first time in his life, Tim understood what it meant to be free from the guilt and bondage of sin and to have sweet friendship with a merciful and loving God.
From his very first encounter with God, Tim understood that God’s Word, the Bible, was absolutely central to experiencing God and growing in the knowledge of Him. The more he sought God in the Scriptures the clearer the life, death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, took center stage in his life. More and more he began to understand that God’s grace was the life and breath of every believer for every day. The more he hungered to live a life pleasing to God, the more he understood the desperate need for the Holy Spirit to empower him for daily living.
The Call to Minister
Tim saw only one reasonable response to what God had done for him – to tell anyone who would listen about the life-changing power of Jesus and the cross.
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
As a model for ministry and service, Tim felt that this Bible verse was a clear, concise, direction forward for him.
It was during this time that Tim began doing ministry with children, youth and the elderly. The simple and solid commitment to the study of God’s Word revolutionized Tim’s relationship with God. Working in him and through him, the Lord was gracious in using this unfinished vessel to reach others with His love.
God’s Harvest Fields
In 1994 Tim went on a 10-day mission trip to Moscow that would forever alter the course of his life. It was during that journey that God confirmed His call for Tim to be in the mission field long term. Later that year, Tim returned to Moscow for a year-long commitment focusing on reaching people on the streets with Jesus’ love and salvation, and working with the local churches, discipling young believers.
In the course of that year, God gave Tim another gift that would forever bless his life. He met a beautiful young woman named Darlene. Serving together side by side they fell in love and got married in Moscow. Tim and Darlene stayed on in Russia to oversee the opening of a new church in southern Moscow. Little did they know that this opportunity would become an eight-year season of ministry among the dearest of God’s people! Tim received his ordination as a Pastor in 1998.
Towards the end of their ministry in Moscow, God had already planted a desire in their hearts to begin work on the Island of Cyprus. After a 9-month stay in the USA, Pastor Tim and Darlene, along with their daughters, moved to Cyprus, a place they have called home since January 2005.
Today, as Pastor of Calvary Chapel Paphos, Pastor Tim and his wife have the distinct privilege of overseeing a loving multicultural community of believers from all corners of the globe. The diversity of ages, nationalities and cultures that make up Calvary Chapel Paphos have become uniquely and beautifully blended at the foot of the cross, where every church gathering still has its beginnings and endings in, “…Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”