can recall from an early age
sitting in a neighbor’s garage
during a 5-Day Club conducted
by Child Evangelism Fellowship
missionaries. As I heard the
adventurous stories of missionary
heroes like Hudson Taylor and Amy
Carmichael, I sensed God’s call into
the mission field. I imagined myself
living in a mud hut somewhere along
the dark Amazon River.
As I grew, a dangerous and wrong
concept crept into my mind: to
truly serve and please God I had
to be either a pastor or a full-time
missionary in a foreign country.
I became very active in CEF, teaching
for many summers in the 5-Day Club
program. After high school I interned
in the Detroit area and then spent a
month serving in the ºingdom of
Tonga in the South Pacific.
Though I was sure God was calling
me to missions, a nagging problem
kept bothering me. A police problem.
As excited as I was for missions, I was
double that for law enforcement. I
was the guy who would turn down
friends because I didn’t want to
miss an episode of “Cops.” I would
interrupt every
police officer’s
lunch break so I
could shake hands
and hear about their
jobs. And I was the
frequent “ride-
along” kid who was
Corporal Matthew Gillmore is a 2006 graduate of Appalachian Bible College.
He and Kristen live near Martinsburg, WV with their three children: Anthony,
Carolyn, and Emma.
always at the police station. I would
tell people if God didn’t want me in
missions I would be a police officer.
When it was time to attend college
I chose Appalachian Bible College
because it was given glowing reviews
by my grandfather. A missionary
himself, he would regularly travel to
ABC and speak to students. In 1999 I
enrolled with a focus on Missions.
At ABC I could feel God sharpening
me as iron through my professors and
roommates. I was right where God
wanted me, learning how to take the
gospel to the far reaches of the globe.
In the summer of my junior year
I was blessed to marry my wife
ºristen and return as a married
student. God had been blessing both
of us through our time at ABC—but
the question every Missions student
is asked was starting to concern me:
“What country do you feel called to?”
I wanted to answer with the same
conviction as my fellow students but
I felt there was no solid answer.
My wife was the first to confront me
with the fact that I would get excited
when I heard police sirens or saw
State Police cars. I wanted to pursue
police work but felt guilty. Would I
be letting God down? Would it be a
selfish pursuit?
I took my concerns to
my Missions instructor.
Using Scripture and
wisdom gained from
years serving in Brazil, he explained
that God was calling me to missions,
but not to foreign lands; to the men
and women in blue.
God had been preparing me for a
mission field full of people who need
a personal saving relationship with
Christ; a group who are far too often
forgotten unless they are needed or
complained about; a people who suffer
the pains of sin and death on a daily
basis and need the hope that is found
in Christ.
After graduating from ABC I stepped
into the mission field God had
prepared for me: I had the privilege of
joining the ranks as a West Virginia
State Trooper.
In 2010, I was ordained by Independent
Bible Church in Martinsburg and
became a full-time Chaplain reaching
men and women in law enforcement
with the gospel. Since then, God has
used me to develop relationships with
the Troopers that no "outsider" could
do. I have had the opportunity to
point them to Christ during some very
difficult times.
God used my education at ABC to
focus on the plan He had for me. My
subsequent criminal justice degrees
were needed for police work—but it
was my training at ABC that really
stuck with me. My time there prepared
me to be a godly man and husband
and to serve the State Police, the
mission field God called me to.