About Gary Matthews

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Gary Matthews, journalist and publisher, is a second-generation Baha’i with a lifelong passion for science writing and interfaith discourse. He and his wife, Cheri, are founders of Stonehaven Press and live in Knoxville, Tennessee.

He is a native of South Carolina, but grew up in Tennessee. He attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, graduating in 1972 with a B.A. degree in English, with minors in journalism and French.

Subsequently he worked for four years as a newspaper reporter and photographer at the Tullahoma News in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Among others, his beats included education, legal affairs, and aerospace research. The latter involved space-related technologies being developed at the University of Tennessee Space Institute and the Air Force’s Arnold Engineering Development Center, both near Tullahoma.

From 1976-77 he was editor of the Grundy County Herald in Tracy City, Tennessee.

After moving to Knoxville in 1977, he worked in the field of typesetting and computer graphics. He and his wife, Cheri, pioneered in 1988 to Grenada, West Indies, as Peace Corps volunteers. Gary’s specific project involved desktop publishing of training manuals for cocoa farmers.

Upon returning to the states in 1991, he and his wife founded Stonehaven Press, a computer typesetting and publishing firm. In addition to doing typesetting for advertising and book publishing agencies, Stonehaven publishes a variety of Baha’i teaching materials, particularly for Christian audiences.

Gary Matthews is the author of several popular books, including “The Challenge of Baha’u’llah” (George Ronald, 1993) and “He Cometh With Clouds” (George Ronald, 1996). “Challenge” has gone through three editions, including a 2005 version from Baha’i Publishing, the trade-publishing arm of the U.S. Baha’i Publishing Trust.

His more recent books include “The Case for Baha’u’llah” (Stonehaven, 2012) and “Every Eye Shall See” (Stonehaven, 2011). These are abridged versions of “Challenge” and “Clouds”, respectively, published under license from George Ronald.

Some of Gary’s other books are “The Metropolis of Satan”, “‘Abdu’l-Baha, Einstein and Ether”, “Muhammad: Defender of Christians”, and “Becoming America’s Religion”. Stonehaven Press also publishes a variety of teaching tools to facilitate interfaith conversation. These include the well-known “stained-glass” pamphlets for Baha’i-Christian dialogue.

Gary’s North American travels as a Baha’i teacher have taken him from Alaska to Florida, from California to Montreal, and countless destinations in-between. Internationally they have taken him to Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Vietnam, and South Korea, among others.


About Gary Matthews — 13 Comments

  1. Dear Gary & Cheri,

    Was really curious to see if there were Baha’is in Tullahoma and your name came up, though you are now in Knoxville.
    I still don’t know.

    We first heard of the Faith while living in Tullahoma. It was 1959 and was working at ARO. Had lived in Manchester for a short time but moved to T. to be with that small Unitarian community.

    While there a couple, named Shurcliff, came to one of the meetings and told us about the Baha’i Faith. It didn’t take. However, I did recall that Baha’u’llah was a “pretty good guy” once we had settled in Carmichael, California, and came in contact with the Baha’is there.

    If you have a copy of “and the trees clapped their hands” in your library, our entry is number 20. In October we will have pioneered in the West Indies for 50 years and been married for 65 years.

    Pat has a website: bahai history caribbean.info

    Our daughter, Lynn & her husband Richard Berry, were pioneers in Grenada from about 1979 ’til just before the invasion. As of now, they have been in St. Thomas for about 15 years.

    All of your books aimed at Christians sound very good. Keep it up.

    Warmest Baha’i love and greetings from
    St. Lucia,

    Frank Paccassi

    • Frank, thanks and thanks again for the detailed information.

      ✦John and Eunice Shurcliff (both now deceased) lived in Tullahoma when I first moved there, as did their daughter Sarah. We became close friends. One of my prize possessions is a wooden circular “universal calendar” gadget that John created — he was a brilliant craft designer and inventor best known for an art product called the “Crayoneer” which he sold at shows. I later became friends with their older daughter, Francis, with whom I’m still in touch.

      ✦To this day, Richard and Lynn Berry remain well known and highly regarded in Grenada. Only long after our sojourn there did I “meet” Richard through the Google Plus social network. How delightful to learn that Lynn is your daughter! This world is small but large in surprising networks of connections.

      ✦Can’t wait to check out your wife’s Caribbean-history Baha’i site. Thanks for the heads-up.

      Loving regards,

      Gary Matthews

      P.S.: I was pretty sure we had a copy of “And the Trees Clapped Their Hands”, but just now looked and can’t locate it. Will keep trying. Thanks again.

  2. I will never buy another used vehicle from Gary Matthews I bought a 2006 jeep liberty what a mistake had to replace all the brake rotors and brakes all new tires and now the wheel bearing I brought it in for oil change technicians says front end is a little worn really the jeep was never inspected I wouldn’t recommend anyone to buy from there what a waste of money

    • My condolences, Kenneth, for your unfortunate experience. Please accept my assurance that I am not the person from whom you purchased your Jeep.

      “Gary Matthews” is an all-too-common name, as is the similar spelling “Gary Mathews” (with just one “t”). According to names.whitepages.com, there are (at this writing) 576 people in the US named Gary Matthews who have phones, as well as 276 named Gary Mathews. More than 850 in all! (That’s just in the US — many more in the wider world.) Just here in my home town of Knoxville, Tennessee, there are and have been several other fairly high-profile individuals named Gary Matthews. I used to get phone calls from folks looking to speak with one of them. (Not so much recently, one of them being now deceased.)

      I have no way of knowing who sold you the problematic vehicle. Elsewhere in my home state, however, there are several car dealerships owned by an individual with a name similar to mine. Not quite the same — his is “Gary Mathews” with just a single “t”. But when people search for me, spelling my name correctly, Google often still lists his websites above mine. (I have a serious beef with Google on that account, and have written articles about it here on this blog. I can only guess that perhaps he spends a lot of money on Google AdWords or something?)

      If you haven’t already done so, I would suggest calling the dealership from which you obtained the Jeep, and see whether you can reach a satisfactory resolution. Failing that, you can always post a review on Yelp, Angie’s List, or other sites. Do take care, in doing so, to spell the name right — please!

  3. Hello mr Matthews I am Simin oskuis nephew and just wanted to say thank you for your warmest words at her service . My name is maz jasbi and I will try to contact you as I had a few events that I wanted to share with you !

    • Thank you for the kind words, Maz. Ever since your aunt — and my dear friend — Simin Oskui passed away recently, I haven’t been able to bring myself to blog about our loss or even write about it on social media. She was such a strong presence in all our lives, it’s hard even to imagine a world without her.

      Have a blessed and healing New Year!

  4. Gary,
    Are any of your books currently available through the Baha’i Publishing Trust? I have an original copy of The Challenge of Bahaullah, which I truly appreciate. I understand it has been updated. My just completed search did not turn up any inventory.
    Warm Greetings,
    Jonathan Piff

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