St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
in Wheeling WV

On September 21, 1915, St. Matthew's called as rector a native West Virginian, The Reverend Dr. Robert Edward Lee Strider. Just a month before he moved to Wheeling, Rev. Dr. Strider was married to Mary Manning Holroyd of Athens, West Virginia. The St. Matthew's congregation warmly welcomed the young couple. The next year, the birth of their first child brought much excitement to the parish. However, a few days later, Mrs. Strider died. The distraught rector immersed himself in his work in the parish and became active in the work of the diocese. Another death would also touch Rev. Dr. Strider's life. One year after he accepted the call to St. Matthew's, Bishop Peterkin died in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Little did the young rector suspect that he would be the next bishop coadjutor.

The centennial of St. Matthew's Church was celebrated in 1919. The Vestry ordered the printing of a brief history, an assistant rector was authorized to extend the work at St. Paul's and Echo Point, and endowment funds of $8,000 were in place. In August of 1919, the Vestry voted to discontinue the system of renting pews and sittings.

In the Flair and the Fire, history of the West Virginia Diocese, it is said the "Bishop Gravatt recognized, from the beginning, the great talents of Robert Strider, his scholarly approach, his sincerity of character, his flair for preaching, his gift for organization and administration." It was no surprise then that when the Special Council was held at Christ Church in Fairmont, on May 31, 1923, the selection of the new bishop coadjutor was Rev. Robert E. L. Strider. He was the first native West Virginia to head the diocese. The consecration took place at St. Matthew's Church on November 1, 1923, with Bishop Gravatt presiding, The Right Reverend Beverley Dandridge Tucker, bishop of Southern Virginia, was the preacher.

Before Rev. Dr. Strider departed from St. Matthew's, B. Walker Peterson gave his Warwood property to the trustees of St. Matthew's for the establishment of yet another mission Sunday school in the northern suburb of Wheeling. For some years, a kindergarten operated on the Warwood site. The property was sold in 1944, and the Sunday school merged with the classes at St. Matthew's.

The Reverend E. B. Andrews succeeded Rev. R. E. L. Strider as rector in December 1923. The congregation decided at annual meeting in 1924 to move forward with the purchase of a new rectory and the installation of a new church organ. A house at 13 Walnut Avenue was purchased, and a contract was signed with the premier organ builder of the era, Ernest M. Skinner of Boston, for the installation of a new four-manual instrument. The furnished and decorated house cost $22,869, and the organ contract was for $25,245.

Weekly Services

Sunday:
8:00 A.M. Holy Eucharist: Rite I
10:30 A.M. Holy Eucharist: Rite II

Wednesday:
12:05 P.M.  H.E. and Healing Service

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St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
1410 Chapline Street
Wheeling, WV 26003
(304) 233-0133

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