In this section you can learn much about the history of St. Matthew's, the wonderful architecture of our building and the priceless stained glass widows that complement the facility.
The history of St. Matthew's is in many ways a micro history of the State of West Virginia and the City of Wheeling, WV. Throughout our time together, however, we have always had one mission:
The mission of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church is to live the Christian life by proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by praising God through worship and music, and by reaching out in charity and service to one another, our neighbors, and our world.
Most of the information in this section was take from our book on the History of St. Matthew's which was authored by Dr. Alan R. Fawcett and Mrs. John "Pinky" Williams. Their tireless and heroic efforts in undertaking this endeavor have largely gone unrecognized. The covers of their book can be seen on the right, and if you are interested in continuing your research we urge to purchase a copy. It is available for a nominal fee and is a perfect complement to a coffee table library. It also makes a wonderful gift.
A special thank you is also necessary to Mr. Louis Horacek who donated his time and considerable energy to transcribe much of the narrative which resides in this section.
Following is a brief sample of the information you will find by clicking on one of the sections to the left:
Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church was established in 1819 when Wheeling was the northwestern frontier town of Virginia with a population of less than 1200 people. There were 25 charter members and the first church was built on the corner of 10th and Market streets.
The present church building was started in 1866. It reflects the beautiful Gothic Revival style by Gordon W. Lloyd, one of America's most notable and recognized church architects of that period.
The pulpit was ordered by the Vestry in 1868 and made of wood by a carpenter named Thomas Hatley in Bridgeport Ohio. It is still in use today and is considered one of the most valuable of the church's furnishings.
One of the most striking displays of beauty within St. Matthew's Church is its collection of stained glass windows. Surrounding the church on all four sides are more than 30 stained glass windows depicting biblical events and memorialized in remembrance of beloved members of St. Matthew's parish. The Church is fortunate to have six original stained glass windows designed and executed by Louis C. Tiffany and installed over 100 years ago.
Pipe organs and music have been a significant part of the worship at St. Matthew's from the time of its founding in 1819. The church instituted a vested men and boys choir in 1870 which remained as the parish's primary musical leadership for the next 100 years. A mixed adult choir of men and women was started in 1972 to ensure the continuing commitment of a high quality parish choir program. The music of Saint Matthew's has become an important community outreach program.
During all of its 183-year history, Saint Matthew's Episcopal Church of Wheeling has been and is now one of the outstanding parishes of the diocese. It has been a tribute of service and outreach ministry to the surrounding community and its people.