Founder and Pastor of The Basement Ministry – family led ministry
Matt Pitt, 25, father, mother and two sisters: Kayla, 18 and Carla, 21
Ministry events attract thousands of teens
Matt Pitt: Good Times at The Basement
By Terri Simmons
The 700 Club
ROAD TO THE BASEMENT
Matt Pitt's journey to “the basement” began almost six years ago.
“I was a problem child in Birmingham, Alabama. I was in and out of a lot of the schools there. I was just real hyperactive,” Matt said. “By the time I was a senior, I got involved running with some guys that were really strong into selling drugs and doing them. In this area, not only did I do a lot of drugs, I was selling them, too.”
After high school, Matt attended the University of Alabama. And instead of concentrating on his school workload, he continued consuming and selling drugs, mainly cocaine. One day, Matt's parents came to attend the university football game and to visit him. During the game, Matt had a drug overdose and was rushed to the hospital.
“When my mom and dad came to the school, they were more or less just checking up on me,” he said. “When they saw their son had a drug problem, they were crushed.”
Matt's parents took him out of school, and he went home to live with them in Birmingham after his drug overdose at the University of Alabama.
“When I got there, I was in and out of the hospital because of what the drugs did to my brain. I formed another addiction which was methadone,” he said. “I got really strong on methadone to numb out a lot of the pain, a lot of the depression and a lot of the stuff I was going through.”
Matt's father began giving him random drug tests until the time he failed one. His father, a former alcohol addict, knew where Matt was headed and was forced to make a tough decision. He sat Matt down in the basement of their home and gave him the option to get his life right or be homeless. His parents made the decision to no longer help support his addiction.
“My mom and dad said, 'Matt we love you. We love you with all our heart, but today, you've got to go. We're not going to tolerate this addiction any longer. We're tired of it destroying our family and your life,’” he said. “The only option I had was to be homeless. It's kind of like that prodigal son moment; all my friends had left me at that point. I had nobody. I squandered everything I had been given, and I knew I had to make a decision.” That night, in his basement, Matt's father led him to the Lord, and he had an encounter with God like never before.
WELCOME TO THE BASEMENT
After that night with his parents in their basement, Matt's life was completely changed. He immediately started grabbing his friends and inviting them to come experience God in his basement.
“It started this massive awakening and revival in our city because in my basement I got so radical on fire,” he said. “I told everyone I came in contact with, and everyone I sold drugs to. I wanted to get them all to come to my basement to do something big and extra for God.”
What began with four guys worshiping, quickly multiplied until the basement had reached its capacity – overflowing Matt's basement, house and neighborhood.
“We moved into a small church, then a bigger church and then a bigger church,” he said. “Through this process, God was developing me into an evangelist and developing our ministry into a high intense evangelism ministry.”
The Basement moved to and through a series of local churches and gyms, quickly pushing fire codes and outgrowing each. In April of 2007, the Basement moved to its current location, Cathedral of the Cross, where now Matt speaks to thousands of young people.
“We feel our main focus is from May to August, because the kids are out of school. The majority of our church is youth and college-age, but we have adults and some middle school. The Basement reaches everybody,” he said.
WHOSOEVER WILL COME
“Our ministry is Whosoever Ministries, which means whosoever wants to be a part. Billy Graham once said that ninety percent of kids after the age of 18 are leaving church. So, we made it our mission to break that statistic,” he said. “If people are leaving church after the age of 18, we want to get them.” More about The Basement’s Ministry:
To Reach the Unreachable
The prodigals are coming home and they are looking for someone whose arms are wide open to receive them. When a prodigal comes home we believe that there should be a celebration. People say that it is impossible to reach this generation, but we believe that you must take radical measures to reach a radical people. So every week we throw a party to let them know that we love them and are glad that they have come home to their Father.
To Compete with the Clubs and Bars
Our goal here at The Basement from the very beginning has been to compete with the clubs and bars. The only reason that this MTV generation continues to wonder aimlessly toward the darkness that the club lights have to offer is because they are bored out of their minds. We believe that it is our responsibility to give the young people of our day a place that is attractive to them but at the same time filled with the love of Christ.
The Basement is a ministry that is centered on reaching the lost, but we also believe that this is not where the journey of Christianity ends. The next step of discipleship is just as important. Our biggest discipleship tool here at The Basement is partnering with the local church to push the newborn Christians to a place where they will be taught the Word of God. For those students who have not found a home church yet, we offer small groups for them to grow and mature in Christ.
To Know Christ and make Him Known
Our main purpose here at The Basement is to glorify God in everything that we do. We want Jesus to be the center of all that God allows us to do for Him. Staying connected to Jesus on a daily basis is the secret to making Jesus known throughout the earth. We believe that you cannot tell people about Jesus if you don't know Him yourself. Our chief goal is to make Jesus' love known to as many people around the world as we can.
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