top of page

St. Matthews Staff


Our Vicar is Rev. James E. “Jay” Bruno.  Rev. Jay was ordained in 2016 and is a lifelong Episcopalian and resident of central Arkansas. Until he joined us as Vicar in February of 2021, he was our supply priest for 18 months. He has served at several churches in the diocese and is excited to be able to call St. Matthew’s home! Rev. Jay holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from Hendrix College in Conway, AR, graduating in 1976. He is a graduate of the Iona Initiative in Arkansas, which is a three-year program to prepare for ordination to the diaconate or priesthood. You can reach out to him at

To learn more about The Iona Initiative:

Our Deacon is Rev. Nancy Cook. Nancy was born and raised in New England. After nursing school and college, she moved to California living there 50 years. During that time, she worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse. She returned to college, earned her master’s in psychology and spent 15 years as a Marriage and Family Counselor.  When her employer sold the practice, Nancy became a Medical Social Worker for many years. During this time, she lost her husband to cancer and made the decision to seek the diaconate. She has been a lifelong Episcopalian and has done most every job in the church. The Bishop of Los Angeles, Bishop Bruno, sent her to Claremont College for a Master’s in Theology. After 4 years, she moved to Arkansas to take care of family. While here, she entered the Iona Initiative to finish her steps to ordination. She was ordained to the Diaconate in November 2014.  She served in Hot Springs at St. Luke’s prior to her coming to St. Matthew’s.

Our organist is Judy Matthews. She has been with us since 2013. Born in Trenton, NJ, music has always been an important part of her life. She played for Sunday school, always sang in the choir at churches she attended, and her husband said that she worshipped through her music. Judy says that playing every Sunday is the highlight of her week, and along with playing the organ, she helps put together special musical events like our Celebration of Lessons and Carols at Christmas, and she also carefully selects the hymns sung each Sunday.

Mailing Address:

St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
1112 Alcoa Road

Benton Arkansas 72015
Phone: (501) 776-4176

bottom of page