In high school, Matt was lost. He had given up on himself, dropped out of school, and drifted. His parents—both Trevecca alumni—desperately sought a way to reach Matt. Through the persistent prayers of his family and friends and a Trevecca community open to embrace Matt where he was, God opened Matt’s heart and mind to what was possible for his life’s story. “I felt a genuine love, care, and concern from the people I encountered,” Matt shared. “It was not just the faculty and administration, but the students, too. I was still pretty uncomfortable in my skin but learned to be myself and found my voice at Trevecca.”

Today, Matt Hastings’ great story continues to unfold. He holds his undergraduate and master’s degrees from Trevecca, serves as the lead pastor at Estill Springs Church of the Nazarene, and teaches in Trevecca’s adult degree completion program. “I’ve given my life to encouraging others because no one is hopeless and there’s nothing God can’t redeem. I owe my life to Christ, but who I am was shaped by Trevecca Nazarene University.”

"I felt a genuine love, care, and concern from the people I encountered. It was not just the faculty and administration, but the students, too. I was still pretty uncomfortable in my skin but learned to be myself and found my voice at Trevecca.”

“I struggled to find my place in high school. I had a good church and a great youth group, but I still chose to veer off the path. I chose my own way, dropping out of high school in the middle of my senior year. I floundered. I was in a band, and we were traveling. I thought we were going to take over the world. Who needs school? A phrase I repeated plenty of times.

After the gigs dried up and my ‘friends’ decided to move on, I was left with no direction. No plan. I even started to struggle at my church. Everyone else was moving on and growing up. I got a GED. I was embarrassed, but the shame was something I became used to; I felt like a loser. Even my high school guidance counselor told me, ‘Look, you’re never going to amount to much in life anyway.’ Sounds bad, right? What’s worse was that I believed it.

Then, my dad called his friends. A lot of them had been praying for me anyway, the wayward son. I met with Trevecca’s dean of admissions. Actually, he met with me as a favor to my dad. He talked about a community of faith and professors who cared for their students. I had heard it all before. My mom and dad are alumni from the 1960s. Reluctantly, I took my ACT and applied to college.

I was admitted to Trevecca with stipulations, academic probation. I wasn’t sure if I could make it. I’m sure the feeling was mutual. But something happened to me in that fall semester in 1993. I felt a genuine love, care, and concern from the people I encountered. Not just the faculty and administration, but the students, too. I was still pretty uncomfortable in my skin but learned to be myself and find my voice at Trevecca.

I get teased by my friends about ‘Bleeding Purple.’ Maybe so, but if people knew what Trevecca helped me overcome, they would understand. I owe my life to Christ, but who I am was shaped by Trevecca Nazarene University. Now, I get to teach adult learners seeking their bachelor’s degrees through Trevecca. I’ve given my life to encouraging others because no one is hopeless and there’s nothing God can’t redeem.” 


Contact us

Peg Cooning
Vice President for External Relations
pcooning@trevecca.edu
615-248-1451