Mathews Chapel United Methodist Church is located in northern Mathews County, Virginia. The county is bordered by the Mobjack Bay, Chesapeake Bay and Piankatank River.
Mathews Chapel has a long history in this rural county. Before it was used as a Methodist Meeting House, the building was a private chapel of Hesse Plantation and was one of the oldest churches of Kingston Parish. This chapel was mentioned in a patent granted 30 October 1686. The chapel stood just south of the head of Queen's Creek on a rise of ground still known as Chapel Hill and overlooking the south fork of Queen's Creek, once called the Chapel Branch.
The first sermon by a Methodist in Virginia was preached from the Court House steps in Norfolk in 1772. During the next two decades a number of circuits were formed throughout the state. The first in this area being the Gloucester Circuit of which Mathews was a part. From the very beginning of this circuit, Mathews Chapel was one of its churches.
Sometime prior to 1797, the chapel was abandoned by Kingston Parish. At that time it began to be used as a Methodist Meeting House.
In 1835, Mathews Chapel moved from its original site on Chapel Hill. A new church was built on land which was given by John Lumpkin. This property is the present location of Mathews Chapel.
Because the structure of the 1835 church needed extensive repairs, the church membership decided to build a new church in 1893. In 1902, the old church building was moved across the road and became the Chapel Lodge.
In 1923, a two-story structure was added to the back of the church to provide eight Sunday School classrooms. Also that year the charge was divided and Mathews Chapel became part of the North Mathews Charge. The churches in this charge included Mathews Chapel, Locust Grove and Shiloh.
On January 5, 1953, the members of Mathews Chapel suffered the loss of the 1893 building by fire. The congregation rallied to rebuild. Ground was broken on 4 July 1953. On the second Sunday in October 1954 the opening services were held in the new church.
In June of 1957, a change in the North Mathews Charge occurred, when Shiloh was removed and became a station church. Another change took place in the charge in June 1969. At that time, Mathews Chapel became a station church.
What We Believe
Mathews Chapel is part of the York River District, Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The people of The United Methodist Church are putting our faith in action by making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Through the power of our connection, we are making a positive difference in more than 125 countries.
The United Methodist Church is a 12.3-million-strong global church that opens hearts, opens minds and opens doors through active engagement with our world.
John Wesley and the early Methodists placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today.
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