Matthew Maher grew up achieving in every area of his life. He was a role model, active in his community, excelled in academics and athletics, earned himself a full scholarship to Temple University, and eventually signed a professional contract as a soccer player. Matthew’s entire life was marked by good decision-making and thoughtful steps toward each of his goals.
The early hours of Saturday, March 7th, 2009, when Matthew made the fatal decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Traveling at a high rate of speed on the Atlantic City Expressway, Matthew struck the vehicle of 55 year-old Hort Kap, a father of six children. Mr. Kap was pronounced dead at the scene and Matthew was arrested and subsequently charged with aggravated manslaughter. Matthew's poor decision to drink and drive would tragically change many lives. In January, 2010, Matthew was sentenced to 5 years 5 months in prison, of which he served 85 percent (55 months) and was released on August 3, 2014.
BUT THE STORY DOESN’T END THERE.
Matthew was raised in a strong Christian home and when everything around him began to crumble, he fell back on his strong foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. From the onset, he had dedicated himself to honoring the memory of his victim, Mr. Hort Kap, by continuing the call of finding purpose in this unspeakable tragedy and holding himself fully accountable.
Matthew has experienced what it means to go from the height of success to the depths of sorrow. Thus, he began to share his prison journey by writing in a daily journal, which eventually was posted on a website created by family and friends. The result was astounding. In the course of just the first year, 80,000 people visited the site in over 98 countries and 6 continents.
It was apparent his transparent message of accountability, remorse, and overcoming adversity through real life faith in action --while imprisoned-- resonated with the readers. His message continues to spread hope to the hurting, and points readers to seek God’s help in hopeless situations. Matthew is committed to demonstrate that greater purpose can prevail when we allow God to work in the midst of great tragedy. His life calling is to encourage others to cling to their faith and look for heavens purpose in the midst of life’s difficulties. He has embraced this adversity as an opportunity to grow and the years in prison have sharpened him spiritually, mentally, and physically.
He continually strives to “Be Still”, the Bible verse he clung to from the onset of his tragedy, “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Matthew is owning his life calling by reminding people of the power of God, the power of forgiveness, the power of redemption, and distributing a message of hope that centers on the theme of “Decisions Determine Destiny.”
Matthew is currently the President of Soldiers For Faith Ministries (www.SoldiersForFaith.com), a national ministry that purposes to call the sinner to salvation and grace in Jesus Christ, while also charging the believer to stand courageously for their faith.