Matt Payne: Ready to Serve

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs

Matt Payne, 47, has always wanted to serve people in need. Happily, he found a way to blend his love of service with a sense of adventure. As executive director of Minuteman Disaster Response, he brings critical volunteer help to towns struck by natural disasters. 

“Disaster scenes are a lot alike, but every one of the people you help has their own story. Having the resources to help them is very fulfilling,” Matt said.

Matt deploys teams to clear trees and debris from streets and clean damaged houses. And TruLabs Hydrate packets are always on hand to keep the volunteers healthy and hydrated.  

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs


Matt grew up in Broken Arrow, OK, where he met his future wife, Kari, in high school. He had planned to work in a corporation or technology field. But he felt pulled in another direction.

“We got married in 1996. Two years later, we had our daughter, and two years after that, our son. I went to Bible school and got my credentials. In another two years, I was called to full-time ministry.” Matt said.

Today, his son Jared is 23 and lives with his wife Chloe in Anna, Texas. His daughter Anna is 25, living with her husband Diego in Chiapas, Mexico. Matt and Kari often join them there for mission work. 

“Through Pogue Missions, we’ve built a few hundred churches in Mexico, but there are still many villages that don’t have a pastor to minister to them,” said Matt. “We help train our spiritual leaders. It’s not just about immediate needs but impacting generations. “

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs


After serving as a ministries and outreach pastor for eight years, Matt was ready for a change. 

“When I resigned from my position in the church, God opened up doors for us,” he said. “I became Executive Director at Minuteman. I slid into something that I loved doing already.” 

Minuteman Disaster Response has over 300 volunteers in 18 states. Kari is the executive administrative assistant for the president, Paul Pogue.

“Now we can respond to anywhere in the country. That’s kind of special,” Matt said. “When I started in 2015, it was just me coordinating our response program. Now we have four full-time staff and part-timers as well. It takes a great team to keep it going. 

“Everything is moved to the site on trailers — our equipment, operations center, and dormitory,” said Matt. “The whole idea is to be self-sufficient, part of the solution, not part of the problem. We spend time listening to the people affected by the disaster.”

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs


“I’ve used TruLabs products since the beginning, mostly Hydrate and Energy + Focus. We got away from all the other bottled products,” said Matt. “At Minuteman, all our team members take TruLabs packets into the field. On a mission in Mexico, we have boxes of it for construction in the heat.”

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs

 Hydrate also comes along when Matt and Kari are hiking and biking. “I probably drink a bottle every hour – usually Glacier,” Matt said. “I used to have cramping issues in my calves, but since I started using Hydrate, that never happens.”

Fitness, faith, and family will remain central in Matt’s life, as will his desire to serve others. “I hope that Minuteman can continue to recruit volunteers and expand our equipment sites to different parts of the country, so we can be there when we are needed.”

Matt Payne drinks TruLabs