Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate in Garland Texas

Newsong and Matthew ButlerMatthew Butler, 28, owner of Zion Gate Recording studio along with Stephen Swan, 26, the studio sound engineer, were found shot to death outside Matthew’s studio in Garland Texas (outside of Dallas).

He was a Christian musician and owned his own recording studio and was apparently gunned down as they left after working late on Wednesday (see Dallas Morning News Article). The reason I am sharing this is that his wife, Jamie Butler, 22, only a day after the death of her husband, gave an almost uninterrupted testimony of and for her husband, live on Fox News on the Greta Van Susteren show (blog), On the Record (see entire transcript here | see video here).

I was really incredible to see and hear a live, nationally strong news corporation like Fox allow Jamie to speak, uninterrupted for the time she did.  She was strong and determined, a strength that could only be given to her by God Himself.  I say this after seeing someone who lost a loved one first hand.  Seeing how they reacted at the time of the tragedy was horrible.  For those in a different place in their life, who did or do not know the love of God that Jamie knows (see The Cry of a Lost Soul is Hard to Watch), it is a much different ending.

Butler: And so for these men out there that have done this, I would want them to know that my husband — we’re glad and ecstatic that they found them, but we want these men to know Christ and to know that no matter what, God died on the cross for them and that he will forgive them. And my husband, I know, is waiting at the gates of heaven, wanting to meet these men and saying, I forgive you, as well.

Greta let Jamie speak for almost 5 minutes (it seemed like) without saying a word. She went through his life, and his testimony for Christ, and their willingness to forgive the people who had done this. All this from someone who had just lost her husband at the age of 22.

Image caption from above: Members of Newsong: Eddie Carswell (percussion, vocals), Billy Goodwin (vocals, guitar), Michael O’Brien (vocals, piano, keyboards), Matt Butler (keyboards, organ, accordion, cello), Scotty Wilbanks (keyboards, saxophone)

I don’t think it was how I would have gone about it, but how do any of us know at a time like that. She was unwavering, forgiving, distraught, and ready to talk about how her husband’s life was lived to the fullest. I did not know him or his family but I love music, and the Lord, so when I saw the story it just made a connection with me. There have been several tragic testimonies given in the recent months. Tim Russert, and the two tragic accidents with Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter and then the Burgess family (see my posts Steven Curtis Chapman, Prayers and Attacks on the Burgess Family? accordingly).

My prayers go out to Jamie Butler. She is busy now, and she probably has a lot of people around her, but it is the months ahead when she will need the most personal care by friends and family.

21 responses to “Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate in Garland Texas”

  1. After losing my Mom, I was in shock. I probably could have spoken about it (& did I think) the day after.

    But, you’re right…in the coming months, she’ll need lots of prayer.

    Sad. Makes me rethink my own priorities.

    Mandys last blog post..Family night.


  2. Deborah Chandler Hudleston Avatar
    Deborah Chandler Hudleston

    Mat grew up with my son Jeff Chandler very good friends . What a tragedy. Matthew was a christian man who was devout in faith and family. He will be sorely missed.
    Deborah (Chandler) Jeffrey Chandler




    Carries last blog post..Summer Swing in Opelika


  4. Rheta O'Neal Avatar
    Rheta O’Neal

    I listened to the interview with Greta and Jamie Butler. I was touched that Greta allowed Jamie the time and the freedom to share after such a tragedy.

    I lost a sister-in-law who was murdered. The initial shock and numbness are actually what helps you maintain at first. The Lord really carries you and it is awhile later before you feel the anguish to the fullest degree. It becomes very real. Yes, she is grieving now, but I pray there will be strong, loving friends and family to love her tenderly in the months and year to come.

    I was very impressed by her forgiveness and her sharing the love of God to the nation. I know God has wonderful things for your future, Jamie.

    Rheta O’Neal


  5. I will miss you my friend. I called your phone, heard your voice in the answer machine.. I cant believe you are gone.

    Thank you for calling me your friend.


  6. such a senseless tragegy.. my Heart goes out to the familes of the two boys murdered.


  7. I knew Mathew…he was a great guy and a great friend. I recorded with him in his studio. I cried when I listened to Jamie’s testimony. It was so heartfelt and it made this news even more permanent. It’s strange to think that he is no longer here. My dad was a good friend of his as well.
    Jamie and the rest of Matt’s family are definitely in my prayers, and they will be for a long time.


  8. I do not know you but i am deeply sorry. I had a brother who was murdered and i was also shot as well, so i have been there. Forgiveness is the key. My husband is a gospel singer as well and his music uplifts me and keeps me focused to stay in a forgiving spirit. He has a song called keep on singing with these lyrics.
    Sometimes I feel so all alone and so helpless but when i need a friend i know whom i can depend. You can depend on god you can. He spared my life and he will take care of you and your kids and stephen and his family. god bless you


  9. Dear Friends,

    Thank you all so much for your prayers, love, and support! You are right… I am still in complete shock. It does not feel as though my wonderful husband is truely gone.
    I can barely get on the internet right now because the words “Matthew Butler killed / murdered / dead” really cut to my very core.
    I grieve over the fact that my sweet little babies will never know, feel, hear their amazing daddy.
    I am trying to stay busy to keep my mind off of the very fact that I miss my baby tremendously.
    Please continue to pray for me and my family. It is only by the grace of God and the support of the community that I am able to get through each day.

    In Christ
    Jamie Butler


  10. Jamie, this has been on my heart since it happened and I know there are more people praying for you than you can realize at this time, I hope you know God will never leave you or forsake you.


  11. Jennifer Davidson Avatar
    Jennifer Davidson

    Matthew & Jamie’s children attend Whistle Stop Station Private School in Rowlett,TX. On July 26, 2008 the school will be hosting a garage sale and all proceeds will go to Jamie and the children. Please pass the word because we are hoping for lots of donations and lots of shoppers.

    Thank You,


  12. I heard of a man trying to raise money through the internet so he could buy a commercial during the Superbowl.After 2 weeks he raised $95,000 toward the 2.5 million goal.So I was thinking why would it be so hard for people to reach into their pockets to help my nephews family.We as a society should help the family of a hard working father that worked so hard for his dream of having a business and working everyday for God and Jamie and his two babies.He helped people in need and wasn’t quite able to afford a home or the luxury of life insurance.At some level we as a society created these 19 yr old killers.If people would give from their heart,and not wait for that day when Jamie is homeless,before she has to get by,by accepting handouts that are pulled from our paychecks to support our fatherless children.We would all be better off.The 19 yr old boys that took his life stated they grew up in hell,probably without a father in their life.This could of happened to anyones family,but not in a million years would I have ever believed,this could happen to Matt.He was such a good Christian man who would do anything for any of us.RIP Matthew and be assured your children will be taken care of.I love you Jamie Aunt Annette


  13. Matt's Mom...Theresa Avatar
    Matt’s Mom…Theresa

    My son would have given these thugs anything they wanted – he had a homeless man living with him and his family for a while, much to our disapproval, and he took him around town trying to get him a job. He was generous, loving, kind and never met a stranger. He shared Jesus with these scumbags that morning before they murdered Steve and him. We are still in shock but after a little over 4 weeks, the reality is starting to hit us and it hurts bad. We had him for only 28 years and will never again see his handsome face, his gorgeous eyes, his beautiful smile. We will never get to hug him and tell him we love him again…this side of heaven. Jamie won’t get to share with Matthew the joys of raising their little babies, she has to face the future without a loving husband and father for her children. She’s only 22 years old. The children, (I can’t even let myself think about it), won’t even remember their daddy whom they adored and whom loved them so very much. Matthew was a good daddy and loved being a husband, father and business owner. We miss you Matty and we’ll see you soon in Heaven for eternity!! Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support. (If you would like to help Matt’s family, there is a memorial fund set up in his name at Washington Mutual Bank.)


  14. I’ll truly miss Matthew.Last time I saw him he said,”come on by the studio and jam” I’m sorry we never got that chance.I am privileged that I knew you your 28 short years.My heart goes out to Theresa and Mike and Jamie and the kids.One day we will Jam together in Heaven with the best.


  15. […] bring it up now in a post mainly because of the summer’s events like Matthew Butler (see Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate) and others, and ultimately we are asking the question, why evil acts take place or why God allows […]


  16. The community support for Jamie and the kids has been amazing. Matthew is gone from this earth but safe in his heavenly father’s loving arms. Now, we must help raise up these babies, take care of Jamie and help her to continue the dream that Matthew had when he opened the doors to Zion Gate Records almost three years ago. Many of you have said, “We will not let this dream that Matthew had turn into a nightmare. We will not give the enemy that satisfaction!”

    The golf tournament raised over $20k for the children. Friends, family and even total strangers have also donated their money and time to help Jamie get the studio up and running. A very sweet young lady from Matthew’s high school, Tammie, got together with some of her friends to have a garage sale to benefit Jamie and the kids. Over the past few weeks, as people heard about it and wanted to donate their items, it’s grown into this huge RUMMAGE SALE which will be held at the Albertson’s parking lot on Lavon Highway in Garland (near 190). If you would like to help, please bring your items to the sale on Saturday morning, September 20th before 7:00am. Here is the link with map:

    There is also a memorial fund at Washington Mutual Bank – Matthew Butler Memorial Fund. Donations may be made at any location.

    Thanks to everyone for their prayers, love and support. In His Grip, Theresa Butler


  17. Matt Butler of Newsong…Please consider being our headlining artist at a benefit concert in the Spring of ’09 for Matthew’s family. The Garland Special Events Center will be location, date tbd (seating for 7000 people). Contact us at Thanks!!!


  18. […] Texas back in June of this year.  If you are unfamiliar with the story please see my previous post Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate in Garland Texas about Matthew’s life and his wonderful testimony.  Back in June I came across this story […]


  19. […] Texas back in June of this year.  If you are unfamiliar with the story please see my previous post Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate in Garland Texas about Matthew’s life and his wonderful testimony.  Back in June I came across this story […]


  20. […] bring it up now in a post mainly because of the summer’s events like Matthew Butler (see Matthew Butler Killed at Zion Gate) and others, and ultimately we are asking the question, why evil acts take place or why God allows […]


  21. […] several months I have written many blog posts (like my mother-in-law Georgia Christal, musician Matthew Butler, and others like Steven Curtis Chapman, Prayers for His Family, Family Testimony, Bronner Burgess […]


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