‘He had me at hello’ – Bishop & Lady Mattis share love of a lifetime
Twenty-three years ago when Bishop Cleveland Mattis married the love of his life, First Lady Annalisa Mattis, the two knew they had a union cemented by the Holy Spirit as their love for God preceded their love for each other.
Bishop and First Lady Evangelist Mattis are the pastors of the Holy Ghost Power Ministries International’s Old Harbour Town Assembly and have used their lives not only to bring glory to God but to bring hope to a world of broken homes and marriages.
“I first laid eyes on my husband at an all-night prayer meeting, which is frequently held by our church. Although we didn’t correspond at that event, I admired the fact that he loves to pray. We were both attending the same church; however, different locations. One Sunday afternoon, I visited his branch of the church to attend a Sunday school treat, and he greeted me with a bright smile, saying, ‘Hello, my friend’,” Lady Mattis told Family &Religion.
She added: “We spoke for the entire evening. Cell phones were not in use at that time, so we mostly interacted when we saw each other at church. If I should use the popular phrase from a movie to describe our first interaction, it would be ‘he had me at hello’. Nevertheless, I was actively involved in church and very self-disciplined. During church services, nothing would distract me from worshipping, not even his infectious smile.”
They were smitten by each other’s charm, and the spark between the two became a whole fire when they realised they shared common interests.
“The love and zeal for the things of God sparked the interest between us. I am a worshipper, and my husband loves to pray. Our love for God and commitment to serving in the ministry brought us together. God is always at the centre of our relationship. We are united by our passion for prayer and a common goal to continue the work of the ministry. My husband is exceptional. He spends a lot of time reading, and he is a strong believer in self-development and enrichment,” she told Family & Religion.
With equally demanding schedules, the couple said they have found the method to making it work: unquestionable support from both sides.
“As full-time pastors, we both share and support each other’s decisions wholeheartedly. Our support to each other offers strength and encouragement during times of challenges. I would sometimes preach on a Sunday when my husband is off the island or visiting another church. I understand the importance of providing support to my husband. It makes his job much easier,” she said.
Lady Mattis has helped quite a number of persons, and it is through her active service that she has garnered much knowledge to continue the work laid upon her heart.
“I am a co-pastor of our assembly, the Ladies Department director, praise and worship coordinator, and marriage officer. Through these functions, I provide effective, sober, and godly leadership to the women of the church. I stand as an example of modesty and integrity … . I also offer educational and spiritual guidance for married women through a club I formed called ‘Living the Life of a Wife’, and I also created a Family Life Ministry and Well Wishers Team,” she disclosed.
When the two are not busy doing the work of the Lord, you can find them on a planned or impromptu road trip to the north or west coast, on a dinner date, or relaxing at home and enjoying each other’s company.
Power of Prayer
Lady Mattis said that she has been able to balance her workload and family life because she prays earnestly.
“Keep God at the centre of your marriage. This can be achieved through consistent prayer, which means prayer with your spouse and through individual prayer. I have seen how prayer has kept my marriage over the years. I find it very relaxing to see God at work when I pray. I would often encourage my young wives to consistently keep their husbands in prayer. A woman who prays is equipped to maintain a peaceful atmosphere in the home. If you are troubled with a situation, pray! If you are battling a weakness, pray! If there is something about your husband you would like God to correct, pray,” Mattis encouraged.
Join us next week as we look into the work of Bishop Mattis and the impact of his efforts.