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Matt Karlson


I grew up in San Diego most of my childhood, moved to Florida my sophomore year of high school, and spent a year in east Texas attending the Honor Academy internship program. Needless to say, I never expected my life to lead me to the winter wonderland known as northern Michigan. 

I met my wife, Katie, while attending the Honor Academy in Garden Valley, TX. For one year I moved back to Florida while she went home to Indian River. Over the course of a year we kept in touch and fell in love; when we were engaged I headed north to Indian River in May 2009. I’ve grown to love everything about this area—the four seasons (something I had never experienced before), the small town community, the beauty of the lakes, and of course pasties. Over the course of the past ten years that I’ve called Indian River home, my heart has grown for this community and burns to reach it with the love of Jesus Christ. 

Along with an amazing wife, the Lord has blessed me with three wonderful, energetic boys & a beautiful baby girl.  Dull moments are hard to find, and for that I'm extremely grateful! They bring a whole new level of life, laughter, and love to our family.

in 2012 I felt God’s call to start a church in the area. That filled me with excitement and also fear. I began to understand the story of Jonah from his side of things—being called to something so big, I can understand his desire to run from it; I felt like that too. But I had faith that when God calls us to something He doesn’t leave us on our own; and it’s through his direction and faithfulness that City on a Hill Community Church was started in the heart of Indian River in the summer of 2016.

As I continue to grow into my role as a pastor, I am attending Moody Bible Institute. I am so grateful and thankful for God's grace and providence as our church continues to expand and grow in the Indian River community.

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