Meet Our Pastor

The Rev. Matthew A. Laferty
The Rev. Matthew A. Laferty

The Reverend Matthew A. Laferty is the pastor of the English-Speaking United Methodist Church of Vienna since August 2015. He is an ordained pastor and commissioned missionary of The United Methodist Church. Prior to his appointment in Vienna, Pastor Matthew served as the pastor of the Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy—an international, interdenominational church in Moscow, Russia—from 2011-2015. Additionally he concurrently served as executive director of MPC Social Services, directing an immigrant outreach center working in areas of hunger, medical assistance, integration, anti-racism, and counter-human trafficking. Pastor Matthew also served as a pastoral associate at Tabor Lutheran Church in Branford, Connecticut, USA, from 2010-2011, and a consultant with The United Methodist Church’s ecumenical agency. He also has community organizing experience with Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition (now AIDS Connecticut).

Originally from Crestline, Ohio, USA, Pastor Matthew holds a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He was awarded the Downes Prize for worship leadership by Yale University in 2011. Pastor Matthew also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international studies from United Methodist-related Ohio Wesleyan University where he graduated cum laude and with university honors.

Pastor Matthew with Adom after his baptism, July 2016

Pastor Matthew has extensive service to The United Methodist Church.  In 2016 he was appointed to the Committee on Faith and Order, the 16-member denomination-wide authority on matters of doctrine and faith. He is also a representative of The United Methodist Church to the United Nations Office at Vienna. Pastor Matthew serves on the steering committee of the United Methodist Missionary Association. He also is a member of the Austria Provisional Conference Commission of Theology, Ethics, and Liturgical Issues. He is a member of the World Methodist Council. He was elected as a delegate to the 2020 General Conference.

Additionally, Pastor Matthew served as a delegate to the 2004 and 2008 General Conferences; he chaired the 2008 General Conference’s Committee on Conferences and Structure. Pastor Matthew was appointed by the Council of Bishops to the Study Committee on the Worldwide Nature of the Church (2008-2012), a four year study commission examining mission and church structure. He was also appointed as a delegate from The United Methodist Church to the General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, Korea, in November 2013. Pastor Matthew served on the board of directors of the United Methodist Historical and Archives Commission (the General Commission on Archives and History) from 2008-2016 where he chaired the commission’s historical interpretation committee and served on the executive committee. He is a clergy member of the East Ohio Conference.

Pastor Matthew served as the secretary for the Association of International Churches in Europe and the Middle East from 2015-2019. He remains a member of the AICEME executive committee.

Pastor Matthew is an avid traveler and enjoys eating good food.

On 1 March 2020, it was announced that Pastor Matthew will be leaving ESUMC to be the director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome, Italy. His last Sunday is 16 August 2020. Read the announcement from the pastor-parish relations committee.

You can contact him at matthew.laferty [at]

Pastors Who Served ESUMC

1978 – 1981Lee and Edith Varner
1981 – 1987Paul Hanack
1987Bob Parker
1987 – 1988Jim Dwyer (interim)
1988 – 1991Glenn and Kay Fuller
1991 – 1997Bill Mooney
1997Bill Daniel (interim)
1997 – 2004Robert Hunt
2004 – 2011Laura Trent
2011 – 2015Kathy Young
2015 – PresentMatthew A. Laferty