Pastors & Staff

Rick D Brackett

Senior Pastor

Bishop Rick D. Brackett was born May 20, 1954, in Mooresville, NC. He has a love for preaching but more importantly a love for the people to whom he preaches. His messages are anointed and are relevant for these times.
He and his wife Gayle lead the staff and congregation of the Matthews Church of God in reflecting an attitude of love, acceptance and forgiveness. Those who attend church services go away with the feeling that they have been in a church filled with a love for God and for one another. The church has made tremendous strides under his leadership in attendance, membership and finances and has exceeded all previous records in every category. A new 9,000 sq. ft. sanctuary was built in 2009 and the former sanctuary has been renovated into a fellowship hall.
Bishop Brackett felt the call to ministry at the young age of 17 and served as a state evangelist for six years and pastor for more than forty-seven years. He became an Ordained Bishop in 1980 at the very young age of 26, which is exceptional. He attended: North Carolina State Bible & Music Institute, East Coast Bible College, Lee University and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Counseling from Christian Bible College & Seminary, Independence Missouri. He was awarded, "Outstanding Young Men of America" in 1979 and was recently named to "Strathmore's Who's Who". He served as a committee member for the Ministerial Affirmation Program (MAP) from 1999-2005 and as a committee member for the Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) for the Churches of God in Western North Carolina from 2007-2008. He served on the State Evangelism Board in Western North Carolina from 2008-2010 and served on the WNC USA Missions Board from 2014-2018 and served on WNC State Council from 2018-2022. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Ministerial Examining Board for Ordained Ministers and Ordained Bishops 2022-2024, and on the WNC World Missions Board. He serves not only as the Senior Pastor but as the District Overseer of the Matthews District with a total of 4 churches in Mecklenburg and Union Counties.
Bishop Brackett is married to Gayle Jacobs formerly of Lumberton, NC who is just as committed to the ministry serving as the "Women's Ministries President" and "Executive Church Secretary". He has two daughters, Abigail and Beth; Abby serves as "Children's Pastor" and Beth serves as choir director and Praise and Worship leader.

Phillip King

Associate Pastor

Phillip King pastored the Ranch Road Church of God in Charlotte, NC. where he served for the past eleven years. His previous pastorates have been Jonesville, Randleman, Mt. Holly, Marion Cross Mill, and East Rowan Churches of God.Phillip has served as a WNC State Youth Board Member and is a graduate of East Coast Bible College with a Bachelor of Science in Christian Education.His MIP Internship was at the Lane Street Church of God in Kannapolis, NC under the direction of Pastor Sam Crisp.He has been an ordained bishop in the Church of God since 1989.He was a member of the East Coast Chorale for three years and can also play the trumpet. He is married to Debbie Craig King, who is a talented musician and singer and Matthews is her home church.

Gayle Jacobs Brackett

Executive Secretary

Gayle Jacobs Brackett was born in Lumberton, N.C. and is the daughter of the late Johnson and Gaynell Jacobs. Gayle is one of twelve children and was actively involved in a singing ministry, the "Jacobs Sisters", that included five of her sisters. She was always a dedicated member of the Saddletree Church of God and actively involved in local ministries.
Gayle is known throughout the state as a dedicated wife and mother and is loved by all those that know her. She is a prayer warrior and has exceptional faith and loves to give God praise for the things He has done in her life. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 but believed God for and received her healing.
Gayle is gifted as an encourager and as someone that works constantly behind the scenes to help the church operate effectively. She has served faithfully alongside her husband in ministry for forty-nine years.  

Brian Shipman

Music Team Member

Brian began his music ministry at the age of 15. He has served in one capacity or another as pianist or Minister of Music at the following Churches of God: New Covenant, Longview, Mooresville, Icard, Bethlehem, and Lake Harvest.
We are delighted to have Brian join our wonderful music team at Matthews. He brings a wealth of talent and experience as a keyboardist and vocalist.
Brian says, "I'm here at Matthews and my goal is to make this my last move. I have never been treated more welcomed and loved by any church or pastor/leadership. I will fulfill the role of Minister of Music to the best of my ability as I pray and seek God's face for the songs selected and events planned by the music department."

Beth Marie Baker

Music Team Member

Beth is anointed and dedicated to the music department. Beth has always had a passion to minister to hurting people and has felt a call to minister through music at a very early age. In 1997 Beth graduated with honors from South Caldwell High School as the Editor in Chief of the school newspaper entitled "The Spartan Muse". She then attended East Coast Bible College where she studied Music and Journalism.

Beth has had extensive training in church music. She has attended Choral Festivals with over 2,000 worship leaders, music workshops, and has also had voice lessons. While attending East Coast Bible College, she was blessed to minister through song at several churches throughout North and South Carolina. From 2000 to 2001, she and a friend had their own Radio AM program where she taught the Word of God and sang.

                                                                                Tonya Walker Griffin

Music Team Member

Tonya is anointed and dedicated to the music department. Tonya graduated from East Burke High School where she sang in the high school choir and was chosen to sing with the High School Chamber Singers. Tonya attended Lee University and sang with the Lee Singers, under the direction of Dr. Jim Burns.
Tonya is the daughter of the late Roby Lee and Mattie Walker who served as pastors of several Churches of God in Eastern and Western North Carolina. Tonya is married to Eddie Griffin.

Abby Brackett Salsedo

Kidz Church Director

Kidz Church is headed up by Abigail B. Salsedo, the pastor's daughter. Abigail has had several years of experience in working with children, as she is an elementary school teacher and teaches at the Sun Valley Elementary School in Indian Trail, N.C. Abigail attended Appalachian State University where she graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. She also has a background in music and is able to play both the clarinet and piano. She enjoys reading, sports, and listening to music as her hobbies.

Abigail is excited about what God is doing in the church and she is especially thrilled to see the children's department growing. It is her desire to see more and more children get involved in the exciting programs of the church. She is convinced that all children will be benefited by attending "Kidz Church" each Sunday morning. The music, puppets, bible stories and games are a wonderful way to help build a stable foundation for our youth of tomorrow.
Abby is married to Troy Salsedo and they have three children: Logan, Skylar and Luke.

Caitlin Griffin

Assistant Kidz Church Director
Caitlin Griffin has attended Mathews Church of God for 20 years. She volunteers with the Media Team and works with the Children's Church. She is a graduate of UNC Charlotte with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in Criminal Justice. She is currently pursuing a career in Applied Behavior Analysis as a Registered Behavioral Therapist working with children on the Autism Spectrum at Mosaic Pediatric Therapy.