COVID-19 Update: Phase 1 Re-Entry Now Underway
FreeWay Re-Entry Phase 1
FreeWay Re-Entry Phase 1
Matt is originally from Newborn, GA, a small, rural town an hour east of Atlanta. Matt attended Clemson University on a football scholarship (1998-2001) and was a three-year varsity football letterman during that time (1999-2001). He graduated from Clemson in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.
Upon graduation from Clemson University, Matt studied law at Mercer University earning his Juris Doctor (JD) from Mercer in 2005. Matt became a member of the South Carolina Bar in 2005 and remains an active member of the SC Bar today. He has practiced law in the areas residential and commercial real estate, banking and transactional law since 2005.
In 2010, God began to stir Matt to pursue a career in vocational ministry. In the years that followed, Matt enrolled in seminary and began to focus his attention on ministry in Greenville, SC while also practicing law. During this time, Matt volunteered extensively with the Overcomer’s Center, a drug and alcohol resident-recovery ministry of Miracle Hill Ministries in Greenville, SC. Matt taught recovery classes, served as a mentor, preached and led chapel weekly at the Overcomer Center. In 2013, Matt became the Director of Student Ministries at a local church in Greer, SC, where he served until 2015.
In August 2015, the Schell family moved to Wilmore, KY as Matt completed his Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. Matt went on to graduate from Asbury with a Master of Divinity degree in 2016. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in Faith, Work and Economics at Asbury.
In August 2017, God called the Schell family to Selma, AL where they served the community of Selma as domestic missionaries. Matt was the co-founder of a faith-based, entrepreneurial training program that equipped and trained local people in faith-based entrepreneurship. While in Selma, Matt and his family authored a devotional book, Painted Prayers: A Collection of Prayers and Devotions for Your Family and Community.
Matt and his wife Annie have three children. Matt and Annie met in 2000 as students at Clemson University. God’s journey for the Schell family has come full circle in their return to Clemson, SC.
He continued his success in football via the NFL while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he led the team in tackles for three years and was team captain for four of his six years. Jeff was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
During the last two years of his professional football career, Jeff accepted the call of God into the ministry. His perseverance and love for God led him to the founding of his first church, Covenant Worship Church, in Tampa, Florida, which he pastored for seven years. Then, God sovereignly returned Jeff along with his family to Clemson, South Carolina, in order to fulfill his calling to “preach” in a variety of arenas.
Currently, he is blessed to be an Assistant Athletic Director with the Clemson Football team and the Senior Pastor of FreeWay church—the second church he founded. Jeff believes that our lives should be surrendered to God in such a manner that everything we do brings glory and honor to His name. He loves his God, his family, his church, his university, and his community.
Jeff and his wife of thirty-five years, Joni, have six children (four girls and twin boys), and in 2010, the Lord blessed them with their first grandson. Finally, a few years ago, Jeff established his own non-profit organization Goal Line Stand, whose primary purpose is to teach people to hold fast to the values that shape and govern their lives without compromise. He continues to speak whenever and wherever he can, encouraging others to stand firm.