On Sunday, January 24, 1988, 149 people gathered in the Farm Bureau Insurance building cafeteria in Jackson to worship God and to organize a new United Methodist church. Most of those in attendance were members of their former spiritual home, Wesley United Methodist Church in Jackson, and were committed to giving continuing life to that church's spiritual heritage in a new church. Rev. Henry G. Winstead, Jr., pastor, preached on the topic, "God Goes Before Us."
While still in temporary quarters, the new church, soon named St. Matthew's United Methodist Church, began reaching out in ministry, offering not just morning worship, but Christian education, fellowship and mission outreach ministries.
On Easter Sunday, 1989, the congregation gathered on the site of the church's first building, which was opened officially on October 29, 1989. Constantly growing membership and attendance and the continuing growth of ministries led to the expansion of the first unit, and then to the building of the sanctuary. The first worship service in the sanctuary was on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1999.
The growth of St. Matthew's has been not just facilities, but the church has grown numerically and in opportunities for mission and ministry for all of its members. From the first list of charter members numbering 199, the membership has grown steadily to more than 1,400 members who are involved in at least 30 diverse ministries for Christ.
St. Matthew's considers its history not just as a celebration of the past, but as a continuum reaching to the future as, in the church's first sermon, "God Goes Before Us."