A Temporal Account of the Parish
In 1978, the Anglican Catholic Church sent a missionary, The Rev’d Fr. Dale E. Mekeel, to Newport News. The Episcopal Church was just completing its destructive Prayerbook revision, and had already abandoned Holy Tradition, as it would soon abandon Holy Scripture. In-response to a newspaper ‘ad placed in the local ‘paper, twenty people attended a meeting on 24 September, 1978. Several more meetings were held in local homes, and, from this, Saint Matthew’s Parish, of the Anglican Catholic Church, was born.
On 5 November, a petition for union was sent to the Standing Committee of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States, on-behalf of the newly-organised Parish. The petition was accepted, and it was determined that space would be rented from a local Church of the Brethren Congregation, with Services taking-place at 2:00 P.M., on Sundays. As a part of the effort to have Services on Sunday mornings, a vestry meeting on 4 September, 1980, authorised moving Services to the Peninsula Family Skating Center.
The Parish began to experience real growth, once this move was made. After several years, it became apparent that a proper building was needed. After the donation of a parcel of land, ground was broken on the current site of the Parish, 215 Main Street, Newport News, on 4 March, 1984, by Bishop Rutherfoord, the second Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese.
The Parish was truly a labour of love and devotion, with much time and materiel being donated to the effort. The first Service, one of the daily Offices, was held on 23 December, 1984; the first Mass was said the next day, Christ Mass Eve, by the Rev’d Fr. John A. Pedlar. The Parish’s first Rector was The Rev’d Fr. Frank St. Amour; his first Service was held on 1 September, 1985.
The ground was broken for a Parish Hall on 14 November, 1998, by the Most Reverend John Thayer Cahoon, Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic States. It was completed, along with renovations to the existing building, and was occupied in November of 1998. Since that time, an office addition, containing offices for the Rector and the Parish, has been added, and the note thereon paid in-full.