Rob Matthews (“Mr. Matt”) has come to Kingswood with a wealth of musical experience, along with a humble and willing heart, to fill the role of director of worship. He hails all the way from the other side of the world—South Africa.
Born in the capital city Johannesburg, Rob lived there until he met and married his wife Julie. They then returned to Canada, her native land.
Before coming to Kingswood, Rob worked as a music teacher for K-12 and also taught English and social studies to the middle school students in the tiny 450-member Inuit community of Kimmirut in Nunavut.
After teaching there for three and half years, this past June 2016, Rob and Julie moved to Sussex, Julie’s hometown.
Rob and Julie earnestly prayed that God would provide work for them both. Then Rob’s pastor informed him that Kingswood was looking for a director of worship. Rob applied and was accepted, merely two and half months after moving back to Sussex.
Rob enjoys working here at Kingswood. He says, “I think it is wonderful that we are so very intentional about our students’ spiritual formation. I’m thrilled that our students attend chapel twice weekly and that we can offer them a platform to grow musically in worship, while also experiencing incredible worship themselves.”
Rob has a master of music and a bachelor of music (honours) from the University of Pretoria in Pretoria, SA. He also has a bachelor of education from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, SA.
Rob is married to Julie (nee Cunningham) and has two girls Emily (4) and Kaitlyn (2). Julie was a missionary for 20 years with the parachurch organization Covenant Players, travelling all around the world. She has recently become the executive director of the Sussex Vale Transition House.
Rob loves to spend time with people. He enjoys cooking and taking in the beauty of the Canadian landscape.
We’re delighted to have Emily Pickert join the team here at Kingswood. As our new enrolment administrative assistant, she exudes a joyful spirit and a quick-witted, fun-loving nature that all can appreciate.
Emily grew up in western New York but now considers Sussex her home. She has gotten to know many within the Sussex community through working at the Wallace Funeral Home as the office assistant and is already well-known at Kingswood since she was a student here not so long ago.
After hearing Kirk Sabine speak about Kingswood at her church and feeling God’s strong leading, Emily
enrolled at Kingswood. In 2014, she graduated with the Bachelor of Theology, and then in 2015, she obtained the Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology.
Emily is thrilled to be working at her alma mater. She says, “I strongly believe in Kingswood’s mission. What excites me the most is seeing lives truly transformed. My favourite thing is to see a student come in their first year and then see them transformed over their four years here.”
Emily witnessed this same transformation during her time at Kingswood. She can say with absolute confidence that she’s not the same person who walked onto the Kingswood campus from New York. In 2007 at 17 years of age, she became a follower of Christ. Although she felt a call to ministry right at her moment of conversion, she definitely has had her share of trials on her journey of faith. But God has truly been faithful to her and been with her always.
Emily is part of the volunteer pastoral staff team at Sussex Wesleyan Church, helping to oversee the area of Media Communications. She is a licensed minister in The Wesleyan Church and is working toward being ordained.
Emily values time spent with family and friends, enjoys reading, watching Netflix, and travelling.