On Sunday, October 4, 1958, 150 persons gathered in the Women’s Clubhouse on La Mesita Drive for the first worship service of the area’s new North Whittier Heights Methodist Church. The organizing pastor was the Rev. Donald Shelby. A choir of ten singers was on hand that morning, and a borrowed organ and pulpit, paper communion cups, and benches for a communion rail completed the setting for worship.

In the weeks that followed, membership classes were held, church school and youth groups were started, and plans were made for the formal organization of the church. On January 4, 1959, District Supt. Dr. John Black convened the first Quarterly Conference of the newly named St. Matthew's Methodist Church, and 156 persons were received as charter members.

July 5, 1959 marked another milestone in the life of the new Methodist congregation when services of worship were held for the first time in the converted facilities of the Citrus Association on Clark Street. The building was a former barracks for citrus pickers but after much remodeling by the church members, it provided adequate space for worship, as well as kitchen facilities, pastor’s office and rooms for church school. The church remained at this location for three years and was able to expand its programs for youth, The Women’s Society for Christian Service (now called United Methodist Women), Methodist Men, and Mission Outreach.

A building program resulted in the construction in 1961 of the first two units of the present church facilities on 4. 1 acres of property on Newton Street. This land had been purchased in 1956 by the Southern California-Arizona Conference of the Methodist Church.

On June 3, 1962 the move to Newton Street was complete and the first worship service was held in the church’s own sanctuary, which is now called Dodrill Hall. Church school was held in what is today the Library and Administrative Offices. The education units were completed in April 1964. In June 1967 Rev. James B. Slay Jr. was appointed as the new pastor at St. Matthew's Church.

Ground-breaking ceremonies for the present sanctuary were held in September 1967 and a year later the congregation moved into its permanent church home. The installation of interior furnishings, landscaping, and the organ and sound equipment were completed and at a special service on Sunday, February 9, 1969, Bishop Kennedy presided over the formal consecration ceremonies.

With the completion of the building program, St. Matthew's Church became a focal point in the growing community for worship and fellowship and for musical events and other programs of outreach and concern. The annual community Christmas “Messiah” presentation in the Sanctuary, started in 1968 under the direction of Richard Riggs, has today become a major musical event in the area, with more than 250 musicians participating.

St. Matthews Nursery School was started in 1964 and continues to serve families of all faiths throughout the community.

In June of 1971 the Conference appointed Rev. Rolland M. Tincher pastor of St Matthews, and at his retirement in June 1974, Rev. George W. Stump became the pastor. Rev. Stump was at St. Matthews until 1979 when Rev. Dr. Dwane Averill was appointed until 1981 and Rev. Dr. Ralph Johnson arrived. Dr. Johnson was at St. Matthew's until Rev Fred H. Cools came in 1985.

To reach out and receive people into the faith family as they are.
To help people relate to God and commit to Jesus Christ.
To provide opportunities for people to nurture, grow and deepen their faith.
To send people into the community to live out their faith.