Our History



The Story of St. Matthew’s began in August of 1906 when Senator Biggs gave the Episcopal Church ten acres of land located at the corner of Edison and Bell.  The specific purpose of the gift was to build a church which would serve the community. 

In 1943 a group of area residents started the non-denominational Arcade Community Church.  Services were led by Rev. Spaulding. Church School Classes were held in the Bungalow Club (now Hof Brau)

In 1945 the foundations for the new church were laid.  (the building is our present parish hall)

At first the congregation was comfortable in it’s two buildings.  But the parish grew so that every available space, even the kitchen and attic were used for classes.

Father Harry Moore arrived, and took over the attic and lived in it for about a year. There used to be a bathroom on the lower level of the hall.

In 1950, Father Moore went to another parish, and Father Gordon Cross became the Priest. 

In 1952 the church was consecrated by Bishop Noel Porter.  .

In 1954 it is written  that there were 1439 baptized members with a Sunday School of 705 children.



In the 1960’s things began to change for this community.  It is when McClellan closed down, and may of the military people who were stationed here moved on to other places.  Multiple apartment complexes were built.  These along with the many tiny motels along Auburn Blvd provided places where people with low incomes, could afford to live.  Cultural diversity became the new norm.  Homelessness increased all over and this community was no exception.  Survival needs of the people increased.                                                                                               


Through the years, volunteers landscaped the grounds, planted trees, bushes and lawns, oiled and graveled parking areas and added cement walks.

In 1973 donations of food were collected by the congregation, and a small food closet was begun.  Along with this a clothes closet began. 

In 1984, St. Matthew’s efforts in Social Ministries became recognized in the larger context of the Church.  St. Matthew’s applied for, and received, Jubilee Center Status, the first in the Diocese of Northern California.                                                                                                                                                                           

Over time St. Matthew’s congregation also changed.  We are now largely made up of people from the surrounding neighborhood.  Along with some very dedicated long time members.  Worship services in Spanish as well as English are offered.  Over all these years St. Matthew’s parish has continued to modify it’s vision – always with a view toward being a strong presence of the Gospel in this area. 

In December of 2013, St. Matthew’s applied for and was chosen by the Episcopal Church to be a part of “Mission Enterprise Zones” – a designation which calls us to work in partnership with our neighboring Episcopal and Lutheran churches to look at and put into action the first of the Five Marks of mission:  “To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom”

In the year of 2016 we are in the process of making many changes.  We have made the very difficult decision to close the food closet, the clothes closet, and the Health Outreach in order to vision what St. Matthew’s is going to do in the future, with God’s help.  History in the making.