The first Episcopal service in Lisbon was held at 3:00 pm on Sunday, September 6, 1906, led by Rev. Fortin, Rector of Trinity Church, Lewiston, with his organist and choir conducting an Episcopal service in the unused church of the old Baptist Society on Maine Street in Lisbon Falls. Thirteen families of English descent gathered in the small building that Sunday, paying $1.00 rent.
On December 3, 1907, they presented a warrant for incorporation as a religious society under the laws of the State of Maine, to be knows under the name of St. Matthew’s and to be in union and communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church of the State of Maine of the United States of America. Consecration of the church was on February 18, 1912. In its early years, the parish was served by priests from Trinity, Lewiston; St. Paul’s, Brunswick and St. Michael’s, Auburn.
The church continued to grow in parishioners and building size . In 1961, St. Matthew’s (still in a Mission church status) had its first Priest-in-Residence and in 1962, a small vicarage was built on Center Street in Lisbon Falls. In 1970, St. Matthew’s hired it’s first full-time priest, Rev. Ken Child, whose guidance led to social action as well as spiritual growth and St. Matthew’s became involved in the community. Communion was opened to all baptized Christians, communion brought to shut-ins, Bible Study groups develops and new programs for Church School – all with emphasis on a relationship with Christ, which made St. Matthew’s spiritually alive.
In 1980, after seventy-five years as a mission church, St. Matthew’s became an independent parish in the Diocese of Maine. However, structural problems with the old church building became critical – it was not safe to continue in the building. In April of 1985, Eighteen and a half acres of land was acquired on a site between Route 196 and Frost Hill Avenue – our current church location at 496 Lisbon Street. The growing congregation moved temporarily to the former Maine Electronics/Rockwell International building on St. Anne’s Street in Lisbon in 1990. The first Eucharist was celebrated at the new site on Sunday, August 23rd, 1992.
The membership of St. Matthew’s are still anxious to live up to the purpose of being a community where all can come to know Christ through joyful and reverent worship while being supported and reinforced as they strive to be real Christian disciples.