Senior Pastor and Founder
Hello, let me introduce myself.
My name is Matthew Catricola and I am the Pastor of Allentown Victory. In the picture you will see my beautiful wife Sabrah (say - brah) and amazing 3 girls, Hanna (left,) Hailey (middle,) Olivia (right.)
There was a time when I was looking for a good Church, and because of previous dissappointments with leaders, I was looking for a ministry with a leader who had some credentials. So this is why, if you are like me, you are reading this, and I think it's wise. Now I won't tell you everything, hopefully we can meet in person and get to know each other more that way. But for now, here are a few things about me and my family.
I was born in New York City, and lived on the border of New Jersey and New York with my parents and big brother. I was dedicated and grew up in the Church. I gave my life to Christ at the age of 4. As a child, I always remembered our life being centered around Church. I grew up learning to have to sit and listen to the services and also had the opportunity to be part of the Church orchestra (don't be impressed, I played a plastic trumpet.) My sister was then born and we moved to Allentown, PA.
We then found a Church to go to, for a while. There were a few church splits unfortunately, and then we found a Church in Kutztown we all liked. It was at this Church that I got my first opportunity to preach when I was 16. I had a lot of stage fright up to this time, but I then realized that God's message was more important than my fear. My fear was so small compared to the message of God's love that people needed to hear. God moved powerfully in that service, and I saw a glimpse of the call of God in action in my life. I had more opportunities as a young man to speak at this Church and others.
At the age of 17 I went to South Africa with Teen Mania for 2 months. Saw God do incredible things, such as creative miracles, and healings, and over 10,000 people made a decision to accept Jesus in their lives. Lots of stories to share here.
I got hooked on missions at that point, after high school I went to a great Bible College in sunny, no snow, no shoveling, no heavy coats, Orange County, California. This Bible College was a great training ground for me and sharpened me as a minister. During Bible College I traveled to Mexico and India on missions. Upon graduation I was sent out to be a Missionary in Mongolia. Again all these mission trips have stories I would love to share with you in person some day. 8 months later I returned.
Upon returning, the church and Bible College I went to collapsed due to sin in the ministry. It was at this time I searched as stated above, and found a Church in California. There I found some credible leaders that I submitted to. I stayed there and came on staff and lead multiple teams in multiple areas. It was there that I found a vision that was bigger than mine, a vision that incorporated mine in it, a biblical vision. I got stuck in a good way. With missions still (and always) in my heart, I helped in the leading of a team to El Salvador and Guatamala. I also began teaching in the Bible College there while attending a few classes to help finish up my Bachelors Degree in Theology.
It was not long after going to Victory that I met my beautiful wife. She is the daughter of Dr. George and Cathy Black who are Senior Pastors of Rejoice Christian Fellowship in Olive Branch, MS. Sabrah grew up in the church and served there most of her life. When I met her she was leading a succesfull small group and part of the children's ministry, along with studying Theology at the classes they had at the church.
Now in the middle of my 8 years at the Church in California, I had to come back to Pennysylvania mainly because my father had 2 strokes. When I came back to California, Sabrah came to California as well and found a place to stay while we courted. In order to think about marriage I needed to get a couple of jobs outside the Church, (you know to pay for the ring, and everything else that happens with that ring.) I worked in retail and 8 months into one of the jobs I was promoted to assistant Manager then 6 months later Manager of this retail store. I also continued to serve in the Church as an associate Pastor before being sent to Allentown.
Now with 7 years of marriage, and 3 kids later we are in Allentown ready to see God's mission accomplished here. We are excited and full of faith and vision for what God has us, and you, here to do. There is no better place to be then in the center of God's Will, and we know that its right here and right now. At Allentown Victory you will find a place to believe, a place to belong, and a place to become all that God has for you.
Now that you have briefly met me, please continue checking out our site, and please come by, we want to meet you, and hear your story.
If you would like to support Ps. Matthew and Sabrah in the work they are called to do, please see the link below to give directly and securely to them through either paypal or credit card.