Matthews Memorial United Methodist Church was organized on April 16, 1950 as the vision of a Men’s Bible Class at City Road United Methodist in Madison. The new congregation, comprised of sixty-one charter members, met at Amqui Elementary School with Rev. P. R. Russell, pastor of the adjoining Neely-Rayon Circuit and Leo Clark accepting responsibility for the pastoral leadership until Annual Conference. At Annual Conference, Rev. Virgil C. Bell was appointed the first pastor. A proposal was made and adopted to name the new church “Matthews Memorial” in honor of Rev. and Mrs. T. A. Matthews, resident of the community in which the church was located.
On September 27, 1950, ground was broken across the street from Amqui School for an auditorium for worship and educational facility, with plans for a permanent sanctuary to be built later. We are indebted to City Road United Methodist Church for providing funds for the new church building at a cost of $2,000 and for the aid and assistance of the Nashville District Board of Church Extension.
On Sunday, October 8, 1961, ground was broken for a new sanctuary on the lot next door to the original church building at a cost of $100,000 plus furnishings. The old building would become the Fellowship Hall. On Sunday, September 30, 1962, a formal service was held for the new building and a new church organ was also dedicated at this time.
In this era, we are committed to reaching out to the changing community surrounding our church. We are particularly concerned with ministering to children and families. When our once vital Day Care center closed in 2000, after providing quality care for children for seventeen years, our playground sat empty. Over the years, our children’s classes were filled to capacity, but in recent years, our children have grown into young adults.
Yet, we are seeing new growth and opportunities for ministry through our Project Transformation program. In 2013, Matthews Memorial was selected as a site church for this vital organization that endeavors to improve the reading skills of low- income children. Both an after-school program and a summer camp are held at our church, with volunteers from our church and others churches in our community giving their time to serve these children.
Now, we are experiencing amazing growth with new members, and we are once again hearing the delightful voices of children worshiping with us. Our senior adults continue to provide leadership, along with a new generation of middle age adults and young adults who provide energy and vitality.
As we are faithful to our calling to serve the community, God is faithful. Our history of service in God’s kingdom continues with hope as we move into the promising future of ministry as the people of Matthews Memorial.