How can a church stand except it be built upon a solid foundation? Jesus said…”and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
In the year of our Lord, Nineteen hundred and twenty-six, in the month of February, the late Rev. Matthew Myers founded and established the St. Matthew M.B. Church at 1014 E. Yukon Street. Rev, Myers, along with the founding members of this Church, originated from Spring Hill M.B. Church. The original structure was small and built of wood and built on land donated by Rev. Myers.
From nineteen hundred twenty six through nineteen hundred fifty five, St. Matthew was pastored by the following: Rev. Matthew Myers, Rev. Scott, Rev. Bly and Rev. Dukes.
In nineteen hundred and fifty four, the late Rev. C.C. Carr began his pasturage at St. Matthew. As the membership began to grow, it included the Carr, Davis, Harriston, Sheppard, Mintos, Jackson, Knighton, Barnum, Waters, Curry, Williams, Jones, Wright and several other families. The Holy Spirit convinced Rev. Carr to erect a concrete block structure in 1958. The following auxiliaries existed at that time:
Trustees………………………C. Sheppard and D.O. Harriston
Deacons………………………Willie Williams and George Jones
Usher Board………….……….Dwight Curry, President
Home Mission………..………..Sis. Ella Carr
Choir #1………………………Sis. Lillie Mae Curry, President
Choir #2…………….…..……Sis Ossie Mintos, President
Sunday School Teacher…………Sis. Miles
After Rev. Carr’s tenure was completed in nineteen hundred and sixty one, the late Rev. G. E. Edwards became the Sheppard of the flock until nineteen hundred and sixty eight. From nineteen hundred and sixty eight to nineteen hundred seventy, the Church was pastured by the late Rev. L.W. Williams,
Rev. G. E. Edwards returned in nineteen hundred and seventy and served faithfully for thirty four years and nine months. The Congregation of St. Matthew grew spiritually under Rev. Edward’s leadership. Under his leadership, the old Church was physically expanded to include an office space, finance room, and dining facility that were also used as classroom space. Additional property was purchased across the street and also a lot directly behind the church.
The following ministries were also expanded while under his leadership; the Deacon and Deaconess Boards, The Choir ministry to now include four choirs, The Usher ministry to now include four usher groups, a Healthcare Ministry, a Scholarship Program, a Youth & Children department, and an Outreach Ministry. A very successful building fund was also established and plans were developed to build a larger sanctuary.
In the year of 1996, the Lord called Rev. Edwards home to glory. In August 1996, the Lord placed Rev. W.J. Haynes as the Shepherd of the St. Matthew’s flock. Rev. Haynes served as Pastor of the Church until August 2004. Under the leadership of Pastor Haynes, many accomplishments were achieved. The Building Fund continued to prosper leading to the purchase and obtainment of the current facilities located here at 1006 S. 50th Street. The prefix “New” was added to the Church’s name to become the New St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church. The following areas also grew under the leadership of Rev. Haynes; tremendous growth in the membership and attendance of Church School. The youth department was restructured. The term “Director” was used to identify ministry leaders. The Church was trained using ETA (Evangelical Training Association) Curriculum. A summer camp program and a Substance Abuse Ministry were also established. A separate non-profit 501-C-3 was also developed to administer community projects.
Rev T. R. Coverson provided leadership of the New St. Matthew family from July 2005 until December 2005. He displayed a great love for family values and enthusiasm to teach the word of God.
On November 29, 2006, the Lord led the Church Body to call Reverend Alec F. Hall as the next pastor of New St. Matthew. Since his acceptance, the church membership and its finances have increased tremendously. Brand new air conditioners for the main sanctuary have been purchased, the main sanctuary has been newly painted, other improvements to the overall church structure have been completed, including the complete renovation of the Rev. G.E. and Bertha Edwards Chapel. The business transactions of the church remain open for membership review and there are quarterly business meetings.
Under Pastor Hall’s leadership, five deacons have been ordained along with five deaconesses; the Youth Department has been revamped and is growing tremendously; a young adult ministry has been started; there is a Praise Team; there are Praise Dancers, a Drama Ministry, the Women’s Ministry is thriving, and a Trustee Ministry was created. The church also has a website and all are able to view the church services live each Sunday. In addition, a new sound system has been installed, beautiful crosses are displayed in the sanctuary, and the foyer has been redecorated.
In October 2011, the mortgage for the current property was satisfied. Through faithful submission to God’s will, we were able to celebrate owning the property with no encumbrances, with a mortgage burning celebration service.
This is a brief history of our church, but we are looking to God to take us higher in our service to Him and to the community before His return.