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Barnett preaching at a Dream Center service in the Angelus Temple (June 2010)
Matthew Barnett is co-founder of the Dream Center and senior pastor of the Angelus Temple, the central house of worship of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, California.
Matthew's father, Tommy Barnett, is pastor of the Phoenix First Assembly of God megachurch in Phoenix, Arizona. In September 1994 his church purchased the Queen of Angels Hospital, a Los Angeles landmark in the ramshackle Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The building was converted for use as a soup kitchen, a group home for runaways, prostitutes and gang members, and a shelter for the homeless. It also provided job training and religious services. By 1997 Matthew, then 23, was managing the day-to-day operations of what was to be called The Dream Center. The Dream Center now reaches over 35,000 people each week in 273 ministries and outreaches. The center is open 24/7. An important role is rehabilitating drug addicts, who account for about half its residents, including underage teens.
In November 2001 the Angelus Temple, founded in 1923 by Aimee Semple McPherson, merged with The Dream Center and Matthew Barnett became senior pastor of both churches. At the time of the merger, the massive Angelus Temple was reduced to a congregation of 25 elderly people, while the Dream Center was holding services in a packed gym. Barnett agreed to transfer from the First Assembly of God to the Foursquare Gospel and become pastor of the Temple. The temple's sanctuary, which had fallen out of use, was renovated at a cost of $7 million and is now used for Dream Center services. Barnett received the Religious Heritage Award in 1999. U.S. President George W. Bush endorsed his ministry and expressed high regard for his achievements.
- Matthew Barnett (2000). The Church That Never Sleeps. Thomas Nelson. ISBN 0-7852-6859-6.
- Matthew Barnett (2011). The Cause Within You. BarnaBooks. ISBN 1-4143-4846-0.
- "Welcome to Angelus Temple". Angelus Temple. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- JOE MOZINGO (September 6, 1997). "Queen of Angels Undergoes Conversion". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "Pastor Matthew Barnett". The Dream Center. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Craig von Buseck (19 May 2009). "Making Dreams Come True in L.A.". cbn.com. The Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Joel Kilpatrick (31 October 2002). "A Church Is Born Again". Charisma House. Strang Communications. Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "The Council for National Policy: Selected Member Biographies". SeekGod.ca. Retrieved 2010-08-05.