Dr. John Ed Mathison retired in June 2008 after 36 years as senior minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He served as associate minister at Capitol Heights Methodist Church in Montgomery 1964-1966, as minister at South Brookley Methodist Church in Mobile 1966-1970, and as minister at Trinity United Methodist Church in Phenix City 1970-1972.
In July 2008, Dr. Mathison and a board of directors established the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries which will involve preaching, teaching, conferences and seminars. The purpose of the ministry is to train pastors and lay persons to be leaders impacting the world for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. The ministry website, www.johnedmathison.org gives a full description of this ministry.
Under his leadership, Frazer grew from 400 members to more than 8,800 and had the largest Sunday School attendance for United Methodist churches in America. In 1986 the Church Leadership Institute cited Frazer as the fastest growing church of any denomination in Alabama. In 1999, the church was given the National Church of the Year Award from Neighbors Who Care, the victim assistance arm of Prison Fellowship founded by Chuck Colson. Most recently, in 2006, The Church Reporter magazine recognized Frazer as the 25th most influential church in America.
At Dr. Mathison’s retirement Frazer had eight Sunday morning worship services at the Atlanta Highway campus – three traditional, three contemporary, one Hispanic and one Chinese. The worship services of Frazer were televised nationwide each week with INSP network, reaching about 40 million homes. The worship services were also cybercast live and carried on local radio and television.
Dr. Mathison has been elected to serve at six General and Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church. He served as Chairman of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy for over a two decades.
The son of a United Methodist minister, Dr. Mathison graduated from Opelika High School and Young Harris Junior College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Huntingdon College, a bachelor of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, a master’s degree from Princeton University, and the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Candler School of Theology. He also has honorary doctorate degrees from Asbury Seminary, Huntingdon College and Birmingham Southern College.
An outstanding college athlete, Dr. Mathison was an All-State Basketball Player for three years in high school and was captain and leading scorer for Huntingdon College. He was consistently ranked number one in his age division in tennis in Alabama and has been ranked number three in the South. He has won seven state racquetball championships.
He is a nationally known and sought-after speaker. He has traveled to India on a regular basis to teach pastors as part of the Billion Souls Initiative. For several years Dr. Mathison has served as platform speaker for the National Conference of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and platform speaker for the National Hi-Y Tri-Hi-Y Conference at Black Mountain, NC. He has been a popular seminar speaker at the Billy Graham Training Center at The Cove. Dr. Mathison also records a daily one-minute audio devotion and writes a weekly inspirational blog which has a large readership.
In 1994, Dr. Mathison was selected as the National Clergyman of the Year by The Religious Heritage of America, joining the ranks of such nationally known figures as Billy Graham who have received the honor. He was selected as “Man of the Year” in Montgomery for 1978 and Citizen of the Year in 2006.
He has written many books (these can be ordered through this website). His latest book, Where Is America Headed? offers 12 essays to encourage us as a nation to turn back to God. His book, Change? Change! exhorts us to creatively cope with this constantly changing society while celebrating that Jesus Christ never changes. Tried & True lists 11 church-growth principles utilized by Frazer for designing and implementing its ministry. Every Member in Ministry tells Frazer’s story of how to get lay people involved in meaningful ministry. Fishing for Birds andExtra Effort are collections of 129 bulletin-front messages from Dr. Mathison to the Frazer congregation. Treasures of the Transformed Life is a 40-day spiritual growth study. Cokesbury published Transformed Living in Tough Times and Transformed Living in Tough Times Devotions in 2009 and 2010. He recently published a new book When God Redefines the Possible. He has also written articles for Decision Magazine, The Circuit Rider, and other religious periodicals.
He and his wife, Lynn, have three daughters, Vicki, Lauren, and Clay, and one son, Si. They are also the proud grandparents of eight grandsons, Eddie, Robert, John, David, Will, Thomas, Mat, John Thomas and two granddaughters, Catherine and Margaret Healey.