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Church History

Saint Matthew Baptist Church was reportedly established in 1901. It was the result of a few members from Mt. Bethel Baptist Church deciding to worship on the Southside of Moncrief Springs. On February 13, 1902 our church made a warranty indenture for the purchase of a 105 x 105 piece of property for the sum of $25. This property, located on what is now 1473 Mason Avenue, was purchased from a widow, Mrs. Louisa Robert, and on this site a small wooden church was erected.


Rev. Preston Hargrove, a young man, 26 years of age was called to be our first pastor, and served this church for approximately six years. After the pastorate of Rev. Hargrove, the Rev. George Whitehurst and Rev. Sparks succeeded respectively. Continued spiritual growth and development of our church took place under their leadership.

Hargrove

About 1917, Rev. Jefferson Carr was pastor and our church made continuous progress purchasing property on West 28th Street where our educational building now stands. This property was purchased September 29, 1920, and our church building was moved intact to the new location. Rev. Frank H. Harper and Rev. W. L. Smith succeeded Rev. Carr.


In the year 1928, Rev. J. M. Way was called to the pastorate of our church. Rev. Way was a dynamic bible scholar with exceptional leadership ability. He served our church during a turbulent era as our nation experienced economic depression. Also conflict of interest between church members resulted in a split of the church membership. However, because of his unusual leadership ability and benevolent spirit he was able to reunite our church preventing a permanent separation of the congregation. After nine years of faithful and dedicated service he resigned in 1937.

Way

Culver

We were without a pastor until Rev. C. L. Culver was called in February 1938. Rev. Culver was a young man, 38 years of age when he accepted this call. Being a man of great vision, he moved our church forward with great enthusiasm. On June 2, 1941 our church purchased two adjacent lots on the Southeast corner of 28th street and Moncrief Road for the small sum of $56.72. This was an answer to many prayers. It gave our church the opportunity to build the worshipping edifice that was long desired.


In 1944, ground was broken for the present church building with Dec. John T. Price as contractor. The first Sunday in August 1946, our entire congregation marched from the old wooden structure into a new modern brick building. The membership grew and St. Matthew became a major Christian fellowship in the city, Rev. Culver resigned as pastor in November 1948.


Walker

Rev. J. W. Walker was called in the early part of 1950. He pastored our church until 1954, at which time Rev. Hill Norris became pastor. It was under his leadership that this church purchase property at 1311 W. 27th Street for the purpose of building a parsonage. Dedication of the parsonage was held Wednesday night after the second Sunday in April 1956.

Norris

Johnson

Rev. Norris resigned in 1958 and was followed by Rev. R. L. Smith 1958-60, and Rev. Daniel Johnson 1961-1963 respectively. During their tenure, pews and carpet for the sanctuary were purchased and installed.

Smith
Price

The third Sunday in September 1963, our pastor, Rev. George A. Price accepted the call to this church. Under the leadership of Pastor Price, our church has always striven to give top priority to the nurturing of the spiritual growth and development of those whom we serve. To be true followers of Jesus Christ, His work must indeed be our work.

3811 Moncrief Rd
Jacksonville FL, 32209