A Brief History of St. Matthew’s UMC


St. Matthew’s UMC was founded in May 1957. Reverend Harry L. Kidd, Jr. was appointed as pastor of St. Matthew’s. On August 11, 1957, St. Matthew’s held its first service. There were 80 persons in attendance. The church was chartered on October 27th with 54 charter members.

The cornerstone for the church building was laid on November 6, 1960 and the first service was held in the new church building on Palm Sunday – March 26, 1961 with 42 people in attendance.

As the church’s outreach expanded and membership grew, it became clear that additional space was needed. The new addition to the church included a new sanctuary, administrative offices, classrooms and a chapel for private prayer and worship.

Front entrance

Stained glass windows can be found in the offices of the Senior Pastor and Associate Pastor, the narthex, chapel, steeple and above the chapel window on the front of the building.

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The Risen Christ Sanctuary Sculpture/Mural

When St Matthews began building the current sanctuary in the latter 1980’s the building committee was in search of a dynamic and expressive altar piece.  In 1991, a St. Matthews family lost their teenage daughter in a car accident very near the church. To honor their daughter, Jennifer Lynn Hauenstein, the Hauenstein family generously commissioned the bas relief for the wall behind the altar.  A selection committee chose local artist Stafford (Jarbo) Rolph to create the piece. Brick was chosen from West Virginia, and Mr. Rolph relocated to West Virginia while working on the relief sculpture.  It consists of two hundred and eighty nine bricks, each carved wet, all which remained intact throughout the sculpting and firing process.  Mr. Rolph commented on this unusual occurrence of no cracking or damage during his creative process.  Bill and Vi Hauenstein visited Mr. Rolph as he worked on this art piece honoring their daughter’s memory. The artist contributed to the lighting concepts and installation of the relief to ensure the effect of the artwork as the focal point of the sanctuary.

The bas relief was installed in 1992 during sanctuary construction, and was later adopted as the church logo in 2000. “St Matthew’s… A home for all God’s children” is reflected in the outstretched arms of Jesus and a reminder of God’s call to welcome all and the church’s commitment to be the hands of Christ reaching out to our community and the world.


Who was the artist?

Miles Stafford Rolph II (1936-1997) was a successful Washington DC architect and sculptor. He was a Chester Dale Fellow at the National Gallery of Art and has had sculptural works at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery and other museums and churches in the Washington D.C.


Jesus Relief Wall 300dpi

Appointment of Pastors & Associate Pastors

1957: Rev. Harry L. Kidd, Jr.

1960: Rev. Charles L. Winfree

1973: Rev. Wasena F. Wright Sr.

1980: Rev. James Roy Smith

1982: Rev. Wesley E. Arthur Sr.

1984: Rev. Cynthia Coleman, Associate Pastor

1994: Rev. Ralph E. McCulloh, Associate Pastor

1999: Rev. Russ Urban, Associate Pastor

2001: Rev. Kenneth J. Jackson

2003: Revs. Bert Cloud & Regina Anderson-Cloud, Associate Pastors

2005: Rev. Linda Monroe, Associate Pastor, Rev. Herb Brynildsen, Associate Minister

2010: Rev. J. Denise Honeycutt

2011: Rev. Brian Johnson, Associate Pastor

2013: Rev. Jay M. Hanke

2013: Rev. William E. Moberly, Associate Pastor

2014: Rev. Neil R. Hough

2014: Rev. Grace Han, Associate Pastor

2018:  Rev. Nickie Moreno Howard, Associate Pastor