St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
in Wheeling WV

Before leaving to meet a military commitment in April 1941, Vestryman Henry Schrader presented a resolution that was approved at the 1941 annual meeting of the congregation to provide for a rotating vestry. The Vestry was to be divided into three classes. Each class would serve a term of three years and, a vestryman, after serving three terms, could not stand for re-election for at least one year. This was the fourth change in the organization of the Vestry since the founding of St. Matthew's in 1819. The first change expanded the Vestry from five to seven, then from seven to 12 members at the time subscriptions were being sought for the present church building. In 1927, the Vestry was divided into classes to assure continuity, and the current change ended perpetual membership. Thirty years later, the Vestry would be modified again, first to seat a youth and then to elect women in the 1970s.

At the end of 1941, the nation was at war and again the program and services of the church were altered accordingly. Bishop Strider, however, insisted that none of the services of the church should be omitted since the need for religion was now greater than ever. St. Matthew's provided space for the Red Cross canteen for new draftees reporting to Wheeling for transfer to military training camps. The Red Cross also used the church facility for numerous blood drives. Authorization was given to Civilian Defense to use the facilities in time of emergency. Women of the church met regularly at St. John's Chapel to make surgical dressings and the Air Raid wardens often met there.

Effective April 30, 1943, Rev. Dr. Bomberger resigned the rectorship to accept a call to become rector of the Church of the Holy Apostles of the Chapel of the Mediator in Philadelphia. After 16 years of service, the Vestry reluctantly accepted his resignation. On April 26, the congregation held a dinner to honor Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Bomberger and presented them with a silver tea service and a check for $1,200. Bishop Strider suggested Rev. Earl Pattison as supply minister and the Vestry promptly made the appropriate arrangements with Rev. Mr. Pattison.

On February 3, 1944, it was announced that Rev. J. Moulton Thomas, rector of Trinity Church in Williamsport, Pa., had accepted the call to be rector of St. Matthew's and would take up his duties in March. At the same time, it was announced by Albert C. Whitaker that his family was willing to give the home of the late Mrs. Nelson C. Whitaker on Bethany Pike to St. Matthew's for use as a rectory. This property was later acquired by the Ohio County Board of Education in 1953 for an addition to Woodsdale School. The Vestry bought a house at 15 Hamilton Avenue as the new rectory.

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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