Our Mission & History


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 located at 1263 First Street Southeast, Washington, DC. By 1904 the Mission had outgrown the facilities on First Street, and a house was purchased on Quander Street. Shortly thereafter Rev. Wright was led by the spirit of God to organize the Mission into a Baptist Church – the St. Matthews Baptist Church.

By 1910, the Church also outgrew its Quander Street location, and decided to purchase a large house located at 1105 New Jersey Avenue Southeast in 1911. By 1920 even more space was needed, and the house was torn down to make way for construction of a new edifice. By early 1921, the cornerstone was laid, and services began in the new Church. In May of 1969 Rev. Maxwell M. Washington was elected Pastor. By 1971 the church, once again, broke ground for a new structure in the same location. Continual growth prompted numerous renovations and additions over the next 30 years including: an expansion in 1983; the purchase of additional property adjoining the church in 1993; the addition of nursery and classroom space in 1998; and the addition of a First Lady lounge and the expansion of the sanctuary in 1999. Amidst major redevelopment in the area surrounding the church, a decision was made in 2012 to sell the New Jersey Avenue location. In February 2014, St. Matthews began services in a temporary location in Fort Washington, Maryland. In November 2015 the purchase of an existing church building in District Heights, Maryland occurred. Subsequent to the completion of extensive renovations, a dedication service was held in October 2017 at our new location at 2001 Brooks Drive, District Heights.

After 50 years of leadership, Rev. Maxwell M. Washington retired in May 2019. Among his many notable accomplishments was the decision to put forth the Rev. Peter R. Blue Sr. as assistant to the pastor in 2018. Rev. Blue quickly demonstrated the characteristics of a strong Christian leader; so much so that at a church meeting held on April 20, 2019, the voting members present unanimously agreed to bring forth Rev. Blue as the single candidate for consideration to assume pastoral leadership of the St. Matthews Baptist Church upon the retirement of the Rev. Maxwell M. Washington. In July 2019, by unanimous vote, Rev. Blue was named Pastor-Elect. Rev. Blue is a product of the DC Public School System. He is currently enrolled at Andersonville Theological Seminary where he is seeking his BA in Theology. Prior to joining the St. Matthews Baptist Church family, he served as Youth Minister at Gethsemane Baptist Church from 2014 – 2016. Family is very important to Rev. Blue. He is married to the former Evelyn Rosanne Pender, and they currently have four remarkable children -- Nicholas, Peter Jr. and twins Isaac and Isiah.

Peter R. Blue Sr. was installed as Pastor of St. Matthews on September 8, 2019. The St. Matthews Baptist Church family is excited to begin this new era in our rich, 100+ year history under the spiritual leadership of Rev. Peter R. Blue Sr.