St. Matthew Baptist Church History
We cannot dare to forget our past or we cannot rightly march on to our future. When David was in his quiet time, he began to sum up the blessings of God, he realized that although he lived in a house made of timber, cut from the finest of cedar trees, yet the ark of God remained within curtains or a cloth tent. In fact, there had not been a house built for God, since He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt. When David was just a shepherd, God made him a King, and even though God denied David the honor and placed Solomon his son to build the house of God, God gave David a blessed assurance that His house would be built. II Samuel 7:10 reads, “Moreover, I will appoint a place for my people (Israel) and I will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their own and move on no more.”
In 1929 a group of leaders came together to organize St. Matthew Baptist Church, 119 Fidelity Street, Houston, Texas. Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” – Psalm 127:1. It is ironic that even the community name, and the street name – FIDELITY – carry a moral meaning – FIDELITY, meaning LOYALTY, TRUTHFUL and FAITHFULNESS. They came together in the yard of the late Sister Rosie Breaux with the desire to “Continue the life of Christ.” Their objective was to carry the gospel to a lost world.
In 1929, seventy eight years ago, the church was organized under the leadership of Reverend M. E. Roberson. In 1931, Reverend E. S. Branch was called to the pastorage of the church. The following ministers succeeded him: Reverend O. B. Brent, Reverend Martin, Reverend S. P. Baker, Reverend H. Williams, Reverend Adams, and Reverend H. T. Aldridge.
On April 11, 1945, Reverend T. J. Anderson was called to pastor the church. In 1949, under his leadership a new church was built. The Late Sister Annie Richmond sponsored the very first building fund program for the building of our present church. The design was given through the inspiration of the Late Deacon Eddie T. Jones. In May 1955, Reverend Anderson resigned.
In July 1955, Reverend Cecil M. Davis, Sr., was called to the pastorage of the church. Under his leadership, a new edifice was built and on April 26, 1970, we marched from our old edifice to our present one, singing, “We’ve Come This Far By Faith. The old church was remodeled by the brothers of our church and converted into a Fellowship Hall. Our present edifice was paid off and mortgage burning was on April 26, 1979, our 50th Church Anniversary. In 1991, Reverend Davis retired after 36 years.
In September 1992, our present pastor, Reverend Leroy Lacy, Jr. was called to the pastorage of the church. Pastor Lacy is a dynamic, spirit filled preacher/teacher with a ready smile and a humble spirit. Under his leadership, many ministries and programs have been initiated or re-instituted including: New Member Orientation classes; Kingdom Builder Educational Ministry which provides scholarships, recognizes and encourages the youth of the church to strive for academic excellence and offers tutoring to assist them reach their goals; Children’s Church and a Nursery; the Bread of Life Food Pantry; Media Ministry; Sr. Saints Ministry, to name a few. Our membership has grown under his leadership but nothing comes close to describing the “fire” that accompanies his “R” (real) rated sermons on Sunday mornings, or his awesome explanation of God’s word on Tuesday evenings & Wednesday afternoons. The Holy Spirit never fails to stop by St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church!
The Church has purchased most of the surrounding areas and expanded and paved the parking lots, installed microphones, a recording system, renovated the Sanctuary and installed security system voice boxes. January 1999 marks a milestone in the history of St. Matthew Baptist Church. Our current pastor, Leroy Lacy, Jr. became the church’s first “full time” Pastor! Since this time, he has hired a full time Office Administrator, improved the financial accounting system, established Operational Budgets, installed Telephone Evangelism system, instituted automated payroll and tax filing systems, and announced plans to build a Family Life Center within the next few years. A wonderful Christian Fellowship and determination to go forward still exists in the St. Matthew Church family.
In January 2003, God sent the St. Matthew congregation on a wilderness journey. It was discovered that our building had to undergo a complete renovation. We were unable to worship in our church from January 2003 through July 2003. Our current edifice was completely remodeled with many updates and improvements.
March 2007 marks another milestone in the history of St. Matthew. Pastor Lacy’s vision of a Family Life Center became reality. The plans were drawn up, the builder was selected, the loan was secured, contracts were signed and the members committed. Construction of the 5,000 square foot Leroy Lacy, Jr. Family Life Center was completed in November 2008. This spacious state or the art building contains a multipurpose room and 5 classrooms. On December 14, 2008, the classrooms were dedicated and named in honor of Trailblazers who left lasting impressions in the hearts of the St. Matthew Family. The multipurpose room is called The Rev. Cecil M. Davis, Sr. Multi-purpose room; Classroom are named in honor of: Dea. Woodie Hill, Dea. J. T. McKnight, Dea. Emerick Jacobs, Bro. Ellis Clark, and Bro. Elton Cosby, Jr.
More than Eighty years ago, St. Matthew Baptist Church set out to sea and it has sailed through the storms, the rain, over the hills, mountains, and in the valleys, but today, we can look back and truthfully say, we thank you Jesus, for all of the good things that you have done! And so, we pause today and give thanks and glory to God!