Why Matthew's House?

Everyone is welcome! That is why we call it Matthew’s House. A few thousand years ago, Jesus was hanging out at Matthew’s house having a great time with a bunch of regular people like us, and you. When the judgmental crowd saw what was happening, they pointed their fingers and asked Jesus why He would do such a thing. They didn’t realize that God is looking for people who know they need His help. He loves to hang out with you. Like those who were at Matthew's house that day, we all know we are not perfect, but know we can experience all that He has to offer anyway. And that, our friends, is really good news.

Who is Matthew's House?

We are Phil and Laurel Appel and you. We are a couple of junior high sweethearts that have been together for almost 40 years. We have five children (including spouses of our oldest two) and three grand babies (so far). We own and operate a computer programming business in North Carolina.

Laurel’s life journey has taken her from childhood insecurity, fearfulness, and shame to a confident wife, mother, and grandmother who is filled with a heart of love and who is able to step out in faith and passionately write about what is near and dear to her heart. Her many different life experiences fuel her desire to find out why she exists, what is truth in this world, and why she keeps getting up in the morning. She has experienced many things from abuse, the loss of her parents, and hearing her child has cancer, to the beauty of adoption, loyal friendships, and witnessing what love does in this dark world when it is placed above all else.

When Laurel isn’t contemplating the meaning of life she loves to spend time with her family, cook natural and healthy meals and host holiday gatherings. She enjoys painting anything from canvas to walls to faces, and do anything craft related, including sewing and scrap-booking. She also enjoys a good Dodgers game. What doesn't she like? Doing the dishes, seafood, or snakes. 

It is Laurel’s desire to share the truth of the Word of God with you. During the last 15 years of her teaching experience, she has seen people freed from doubt, fear and shame and delivered into lives that consist of hope, inner peace and a depth of joy that doesn’t even make sense. Her own story is one of this transformation, and she desires that you, too, live a life that is marked with these same characteristics.

Phil Appel is blessed to be called the husband of one, a father of five, a grandfather of three, and a child of God.


Phil was involved in sports as a youth until junior high, when a close sports friend committed suicide. This devastating event impacted him greatly and drove him to ponder, even at that young age, life, death, and the realities of the world we live in. 


Phil has had a love for the Word of God since he was a little boy. He used to hide under his covers at night with a flashlight reading his Bible. He was fascinated not only with the adventurous and dramatic stories, but more so with the grace and love that God has for His children. His passion for this message is what drives him still in all he does.


Phil has been a computer programmer for the last 28 years. When he isn't working, he enjoys being with his family, working outside on his farm, rooting for the Dodgers with Laurel, and digging into scientific articles and books. He also enjoys traveling and eating seafood, obviously, not with Laurel.


Phil's biggest passion though, is learning, living and teaching the truth of the Bible so he can encourage people to find their passions and pursue them with reckless abandon. His goal is to help people see the freeing message of Jesus so they can live life filled with peace and joy without the religious condemnation and shame that so often ensnares us.

Get in Touch With Us

You have no idea how much we want to hear from you! Please let us know your thoughts, your prayer needs, your insight, or questions. 


Well, we might not be able to tell you what to have for dinner, because we often struggle with that same question, but most questions we will try to answer. And, we will respond to your message just as soon as we are able to.

Contact us

Thanks for submitting!