Matthew Lucio, pastor of the Mason City, Charles City and Hampton churches in Iowa, was ordained on Sabbath, June 10, during a special service at the 2017 Iowa-Missouri camp meeting.

Ordained pastors from around the conference laid hands on Lucio and his wife, Laura, as executive secretary Robert Wagley prayed over them.

“Matthew has demonstrated God’s grace and the proof of his calling into the gospel ministry through faithful service and servant leadership, evangelism and preaching the gospel,” said Wagley. “We are grateful to God for His faithfulness and grace in Matthew’s life.”

Greg King, dean of the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University and a former teacher of Lucio’s, shared stories of Old Testament prophets—people he said were also called and ordained by God. “These individuals faced challenges at times, encountered obstacles and sometimes became discouraged and felt like throwing in the towel,” he said. “Pastoral ministry sometimes involves challenges, setbacks and discouragements.” King also highlighted three things from Jeremiah 1 that all pastors need to know as they accept God’s calling:

  • God has a plan for their lives and ministries (v. 5)
  • God has promised to be with them (v. 7-8)
  • God always makes provision for what He has asked them to accomplish (v. 9-10)

Conference president Dean Coridan reminded everyone that ordination is merely the church’s recognition of God’s calling on a person’s life and that the church doesn’t bestow any special power upon the recipient—that all power instead comes from God. He charged Lucio to keep his eyes on Jesus, especially at times when he may feel unworthy of his calling or powerless to accomplish the task ahead. “Never ask for any more than power and righteousness from God,” he said. “And never claim any less. Christ alone is enough.”

Lucio thanked conference administrators and others who have been instrumental in shaping his ministry. “You’ve helped me understand ministry by grace, and I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you,” he said. “In times when ministry becomes difficult and trying, I’m going to remember that I’m here by grace. I was called by grace. And it cost God something to call me here. I’m grateful for that, and I humbly accept the challenge of ministry.”

Lucio grew up in Toledo, Ohio. He was raised Catholic and first became acquainted with the Adventist Church through a prophecy seminar when he was in the 8th grade. Some time later he was given a copy of Mark Finley’s book The Almost Forgotten Day. He read it in secret and became convicted about the Sabbath. Though his changing beliefs created conflict at home, Lucio continued to study and learn and even participated in evangelistic efforts in Michigan and Botswana, Africa. He attended Southern Adventist University, graduating in 2007 with a Bachelors of the Arts in theology. He went on to the seminary at Andrews University, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 2010.

Before coming to the Iowa-Missouri Conference in 2014, Lucio pastored in Nashville, Tennessee, where he met Laura. They have one daughter, Aerith, who will be three this month.