The mission of the St. Matthew's Baptist Church is to make disciples of christ. We will do this by carrying our the great commission found in Matthews 28:18-20. We will rely on the Holy Spirit as we share the love of God through evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, ministry and worship.
In the latter part of 1902, the late Rev. Isaac Wright was inspired by God to organize a Sunday School Mission in Southeast, Washington, DC. In 1903, a site was chosen at 1263 First Street, SE, where the Sunday School Mission was organized. The Mission quickly outgrew the facilities on First Street, and plans were made to find larger quarters. In 1904, negotiations were started to purchase a house on Quander Street (a short street located where the Navy Yard is now located). Shortly afterward, Rev. Wright was led by the spirit of God to organize the Mission into a Baptist Church.
St. Matthews Baptist Church was organized and incorporated in late 1905. Rev. Wright assumed Pastorate. By 1910, the Church had outgrown its Quander Street facilities and services were held at an address in the 1000 block of 3rd Street, SE while the facilities were being enlarged. Shortly after moving back to the Quander Street address, there became a need for even larger facilities and in 1911 plans were made to purchase a large house located at 1105 New Jersey Avenue, SE. In 1920 the house was torn down because still more space was needed, and a new Church was started. While the church was being built, services were held in a warehouse on 3rd Street, SE. In early 1921, the cornerstone was laid, and services began in the new Church.
After more than 100 years at the 1105 New Jersey Avenue location (pictured above), St. Matthews held it's final Sunday Worship service there on February 9, 2014, and a special Relocation Service on Tuesday evening, February 11th. The iconic structure will be demolished as part of an expansive area redevelopment. However, the St. Matthews' spiritual journey will continue in our temporary location at the Knights Hall located at 1633 Tucker Road in Fort Washington, Maryland, while we move forward with the construction of our new church home to be located at 6611 Old Branch Avenue in Temple Hills, Maryland. While there is no denying that we will miss our "little church on the hill," there’s also no denying that we must be thankful to our Lord for His goodness to us all. For no matter where we are located, He will always be there with us.
After Rev. Wright's death, the following pastors have served at St. Matthews: Rev. Westfield; Rev. T.J. Payton; Rev. E.P. Patterson; Rev. A.D. Williams; and Rev. Roy Settles, Sr. On May 19, 1969, by majority vote, Rev. Maxwell M. Washington was elected Pastor. He still serves in that capacity today.