The dedicated, energetic stewards of the Silver Spring congregation sought to replicate the models of ministry that were active at Reid Temple-Glenn Dale, while capitalizing on the many opportunities that were unique to the new location. Initially, membership growth was sporadic, but attendance at Sunday services soon began to spiral upward, to over 700 each week. The thriving congregation’s leaders realized that they were fast outgrowing the rented high school space, with its many limitations and restrictions. Through the faithfulness of the campus membership as well as with assistance from Reid Temple-Glenn Dale, they launched a capital campaign in 2008 to raise funds to procure a permanent location in Montgomery County.
In 2006, Reid Temple became “One Church in Two Locations” with the opening of a second worship location in the cafeteria of Blair High School in Silver Spring (Montgomery County), Maryland. The expansion location was dubbed “Reid Temple-North” but, before the first service was assembled—indeed, before the new congregation’s members even ventured into their new territory—they engaged in much prayer and research led by our, then Executive Minister Reverend Matthew L. Watley. This was an ideal site for expansion, offering a strong and growing African American population base, and in great need of Christian witnessing and Kingdom building. Rev. Watley and the members of Reid Temple-North wanted to be a part of that!
Reid Temple-North opened its doors at 12101 Tech Road on Sunday, September 12, 2010. Our Church serves its congregation’s multiple spiritual, emotional, and physical needs. Our sanctuary seats 1,100. It also features a 65-seat choir loft, a baptismal pool, a nursery, multi-purpose rooms, a warming kitchen, classrooms, and meeting space for a growing number of ministries, and administrative office space. The membership of the congregation is still growing! Through this growth Reid Temple-North led the way in launching Reid Temple’s third campus, Reid Temple DC.
On March 30, 2019 during the 69th session of the Washington Annual Conference, Bishop James L. Davis appointed Rev. Matthew L. Watley as the Senior Pastor of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church. Kingdom Fellowship AME Church is comprised of the former Reid Temple-North and Reid Temple DC congregations with membership of more than 5,000. We are thankful for what God has done and we’re excited to see what God will allow us to do as we remain Kingdom Focused!
“The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Developing Kingdom Focused Disciples Who Share The Love of Jesus With The World.
We Are Making Kingdom Disciples To Make A Kingdom Difference.
Rev. Matthew Lawrence Watley is the Senior Pastor of Kingdom Fellowship AME Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, and formerly was the Executive Minister of Reid Temple AME Church North and D.C. Locations. A third-generation preacher, businessman, lecturer and author, he is nationally and globally recognized as an innovative thinker who constantly explores new ways to reach the unsaved by using spiritual, political, and economic empowerment techniques. Rev. Watley has proven he has the strategic vision necessary to guide an organization through continual change.
The motto of the 5,000-church membership is, “We are making kingdom disciples to make a kingdom difference.” Kingdom Fellowship is the 4th largest Church within the AME denomination. Currently, there are three worship services each Sunday. Kingdom Fellowship owns and operates a 125,000 square-foot tower that leases to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration along with other businesses, including insurance, legal and technological companies. The Church has also acquired a twelve-acre campus and is in the process of building a new worship center along with an adjacent 100,000 square-foot office building that is being repurposed for commercial and community use. In addition to the thousands that attend worship in-person, thousands more stream the worship services on-line each week.
Pastor Watley was invited by the Ford Foundation to participate on a special commission charged with evaluating Non-Governmental Organizations in the Republic of South Africa. In 2009, IMPACT, a professional organization committed to political and civic engagement, honored him as IMPACT Person of the Year. Rev. Watley has addressed and lectured to a host of groups. He has been invited by Ch2Mhill, Prudential, Industrial Bank, American Institute of CPAs, National Association of Black Accountants, U.S. Department of Transportation, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, National Society of Black Engineers, and Blacks in Government to name a few. Pastor Watley has also lectured at both public and private institutions, including Georgetown University, Howard University, Wiley College, Paul Quinn College, Alabama State University, Wilberforce University and Wesley Theological Seminary.
An accomplished writer, Rev. Watley joined forces with his father, Rev. Dr. William D. Watley, to co-author Poems of a Son, Prayers of a Father. He also contributed to other publications, including James Washington’s Conversations with God; Beyond the Frontier by E. Ethelbert Miller and Doing Church by William Watley. Rev. Watley is the author of a new book Ignite -- 50 days of prayer that will change your life.
Rev. Watley holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters of Divinity from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he served on the university’s Board of Trustees as a graduate student. He also has an Executive Masters in Leadership from Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business. In the summer of 2015, he received a Master of Arts in Education and Human Development from The George Washington University. Rev. Watley is presently pursuing a doctorate in Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.
Married to the former Shawna Francis, Senior Policy Advisor with Holland & Knight LLP, they are the proud parents of a beautiful daughter, Alexandra Elisabeth.
Along his journey, Rev. Watley has received numerous ecclesiastical, academic, civic and literary awards. Concerning these and other accomplishments, he submits that the challenge of servant-leadership is not to win acclaim or to amass honor, “but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.” Micah 6:8