Matthew was born in Greensboro North Carolina while his father was serving Oak Ridge Methodist Church. He grew up in parsonages across the Western North Carolina Conference and even spent three years living on an Indian reservation in Yuma, California where his dad was a missionary on the Quichan Indian Reservation. Matthew is the oldest of three siblings and his parents currently live in the Burton home place in Reidsville, NC.
Matthew is a graduate of Eastern Guilford High School (1977), Greensboro College (Bachelor of Music, 1981), Duke Divinity School (Master of Divinity, 1985), and United Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry, 2007).
Matthew is married to Beverly Taylor Burton. Beverly retired from teaching in 2013. She was a high school choral director and math teacher. In retirement she taught physical fitness in the Silver Sneakers program at the Jerry Long YMCA in Clemmons. She also enjoys singing in the church choir, playing the piano and keyboard with the praise team and choir. Matthew and Beverly have enjoyed leading Educational Opportunity Tours to Israel and Jordon. They have one daughter, Taylor, who lives with her husband, Derek, in Los Angeles, California.
Matthew has served six appointments in the Western North Carolina Conference: Center UMC, Greensboro (Student appointment, 1983-1985), Center UMC, Concord (1985-1991), Plaza UMC, Charlotte (1991-1994), Central UMC, Canton (1994-1999), Central UMC, Monroe (1999-2011), Clemmons UMC (2011-2020).
Matthew is a current member of the Board of Ordained Ministry as a Discernment Team Leader, a member of the Conference Staff Relations Committee, and the Yadkin Valley Superintendent’s Committee. For seventeen years he was a member of the Building Team Committee of the Annual Conference where he served as vice-chair, chair, and Cuba Coordinator. He’s lead teams to Haiti, Panama, Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Cuba.
In 1993 he was part of the SEJUMVIM delegation to Cuba. He graduated of the General Board of Discipleship Academy on Preaching, The Royce and Jane Reynolds program in Church Leadership and the Royce and Jane Reynolds Academy on Church Management. He was previously a member of the Royce and Jane Reynolds Leadership Academy.