An Ecumenical Community of Faith "Rooted in the Historic Christian Tradition"
"Come to Me, all you who
labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and
learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for
your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (St. Matthew 11:28-30)
Saint Matthew's Churches is an ecumenical community of Faith. Our members come
from many rich and varied backgrounds within Christ's Holy Church. This has
given us a deep love and appreciation, as well as indebtedness to the historic
branches of the Church, among whom are the Anglican, Baptist, Catholic,
Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian and Reformed branches of the Church. From
each of these, Saint Matthew's Churches has drawn many spiritual practices. It
is our most sincere desire always to honor and respect each of the great
branches of the Church that have emerged through history.
Over the last several years Christians have been drawn to identify more deeply
with the Church as a whole. This has resulted in many Churches around the world
converging at the center of what it means to live in the fullness of Christ's
One Holy Church. Although it is not an exhaustive list, the following are some
of the common elements that many Christians have recommitted themselves to.
The above commitment has resulted in Saint Matthew's Churches being deeply
drawn to the Historic Christian Tradition.
A restored commitment to the Sacrament, especially the Lord's Table.
An increased motivation to know more about the early church.
A love for the whole church and a desire to see the Church as one.
The blending of the different streams and gifts that each branch of the Church
An interest in integrating structure while maintaining spontaneity in worship.
A greater involvement of sign and symbol in worship.
A continuing commitment to personal salvation, biblical teaching and the work
and ministry of the Holy Spirit.
While Saint Matthew's Churches is ecumenical in scope and nature, our identity
and self-understanding is deeply rooted in the Historic Christian Tradition.
Our services are informed and shaped by many of the Historic Christian
liturgies, which has helped Christians maintain the beauty and dignity of
Christian Worship for hundreds of years.
In matters of faith and practice Saint Matthew's Churches identifies with many
of the doctrinal texts, which have historically guided Christians from many
backgrounds. This includes our affirmation of the sufficiency of the Scriptures
as containing all things necessary to salvation. We affirm the belief contained
in the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds. We affirm the spirit of the Historic
Christian creeds that have served as a statement of faith for those in the
Historic Christian Tradition since the earliest of times. At Saint Matthew's
Churches we believe that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in
Scripture, illumined by tradition, strengthened in personal experience and
confirmed by reason.
At Saint Matthew's Churches we identify with the mainstream of Christian
tradition. While it is true that the foundation of our worship is shaped by the
Historic Christian Tradition, as an ecumenical community of faith, we never
want to build fences that exclude anyone who loves and serves our Lord Jesus
Christ. Rather, our aim is to unite the best from all Christian traditions that
will provide a biblical and positive witness to a hurting world.
A Bit of History About Saint Matthew's Ministry
This Church was founded in 1951.
Fifteen born-again families of different Christian faiths opened this ministry's first ecumenical church in San Antonio, Texas, in 1953 with 100 members.
This Church's introduction to the new people we meet is: If you meet us and forget us, you have lost nothing, but if you meet Jesus and forget Him, you have lost everything. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8.
Winning lost souls to Jesus Christ is this Church's calling and lifelong mission.
Saint Matthew's takes its name from the first Gospel in the New Testament.
Saint Matthew's Churches are ecumenical, welcoming people from all faiths.
When this ministry first began, its ministers preached Christ's Gospel at any location they could, including churches, parks, rented halls, gospel church tents, on a courthouse square, street corners, and going door to door. We did so to tell this simple message: We are here to tell you that Jesus Christ died on the cross for all of our sins. You can know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you can have eternal life in Heaven. Why not trade something you are going to lose anyway for something you can never lose – Eternal Life? "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Romans 10:9,10.
Saint Matthew's Churches are not built upon a particular clergy's personality. If that were the case, when that clergy person dies, this Church would die. This is like the Catholic Church, insomuch as if a pope dies, the church does not; they simply choose a new pope. This ministry always has 15 to 20 clergy performing priestly duties, from preaching and teaching the Gospel to visiting the sick, poor, and lonely shut-ins who cannot go to church for one reason or another, and to playing ball with the youth. This Church is a living church, full of excitement, telling the world that it is easy to find salvation through Jesus Christ, according to the Holy Scriptures. As a Christian church, we preach that, no matter who you are, Jesus loves you.
Saint Matthew's Churches is a church, not a charity. A charity raises money for causes; Saint Matthew's Churches gives people the opportunity to worship God with their tithes and offerings. "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." St. Luke 6:38. "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
The Church was granted tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service in 1977, which was affirmed by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in 2000. Not only did the Court determine that the Church was tax exempt under 26 U.S. C. Sect. 501(c)(3) (i.e., that no part of the Church's net earnings inured to the private benefit of any person), but also that its activities were exclusively religious. The Better Business Bureau recognizes that the Church is tax exempt.