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January 15, 1939 – May 18, 2023

God, in His infinite wisdom, called home His servant Deacon Harold James Matthews, Sr. on Thursday, May 18, 2023. He was born January 15, 1939, to the late James A. and Sussie P. Matthews in Petersburg, VA.  He was also proceeded in death, by his brother, Donald A. Matthews.

Deacon Harold Matthews was educated in the Petersburg Public School System and was a 1958 graduate of Peabody High School where he played football. He attended Virginia State College (now University) and was an activated reservists in the United States Marine Corps.

He was employed by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation for many years as a supervisor, until they relocated to Macon, Georgia. Harold retired from the Petersburg Sheriff’s Department.

Deacon Harold Matthews was baptized at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church at an early age and served there faithfully, for over 60 years (until his health declined). He served as a member of  “S.A.M.”, Media Ministry (selling recordings of the services),  Christian Education Ministry (as a teacher in the New Members’ Class and Baptismal Class), and a member of the Deacon Ministry for over 40 years. Deacon Matthews loved the Word of God and was known for his whistling.
Deacon Matthews is survived by his sister, Marie V. Maniego-Scott (Scottie) of Petersburg, VA; son, Deacon Harold Matthews, Jr. (Linda) of St. Petersburg, FL; devoted daughter and caretaker, Rev. Sonya M. Matthews of South Chesterfield, VA; and son, State Bishop Duane L. Matthews, Sr., of Petersburg, VA. Deacon Matthews also leaves to cherish in his memory grandsons, Harold J. Matthews III of Prince George, VA, Duane L. Matthews II of Newport News, VA, Justin G. Matthews of Washington DC, and Aaron Matthews of Baltimore, MD; granddaughters, Destiny Matthews of Bronx, NY, DeAnna L Matthews of Newport News, VA, DeShaunna M. Williams (Devonte) of Hopewell, VA, Shayla N. Matthews of South Chesterfield, and Divinity Matthews of Mesa, AZ. He leaves a legacy of ten great granddaughters and seven great grandsons; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Long-time friends, Barbara Davis, Deacon & Deaconess Ivory Cary, Deacon & Deaconess Edward Jones, Rev. Vernon “Billy” Lee, and Deacon Fred Williams.  

Special thanks to the Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities, his clinical care team, additional caregivers including, Gloria, Jackie (SOAL) and Fonday; and the MOBC Deacon Ministry.

Services will be held 12 Noon, Saturday, May 27, 2023, at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, 800 Augusta Avenue, Petersburg, VA, the Rev. Dr. Wesley K. McLaughlin, Pastor, eulogist. The interment to follow at Dinwiddie Memorial Park.

J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment, Inc., 102 South Avenue, Petersburg, VA, (804) 732-8911, watch the funeral services live online at