St Matthew’s Church
St Matthew’s Episcopal Church, located on Rt. 706 west in Stevensville, Bradford County, was put under the care of St. Paul’s by the Diocese in Bethlehem. St. Paul’s was the closest active Episcopal Church. A short history of this historic building follows.
In 1792, former patriots and their families from the American Revolution moved from Litchfield, Conn., to a wilderness area known as Pike in what was then Ontario County, Pa. This area is now known as Stevensville in Bradford County, Pa.
In 1799, St.Matthew’s Episcopal Church was established by these faithful settlers, many of them sheep herders and shepherds.
The original church building was destroyed by fire in 1814 and work began immediately to build a new church. The current church, located on Route 706, just over the Susquehanna County border, was completed in 1820 and consecrated in 1824.
St. Matthew’s ceased to be a full-time church in 1900, and remains frozen in that time period, without indoor plumbing, central heat and electric lighting.
Following St. Matthew’s centennial in 1924, the responsibility for St. Matthew’s church was given to St. Paul’s in Montrose.
Bob Kimmell, a vestry member at St. Paul’s, has taken up supervising the care and maintenance of this very special little church.
Every summer, the beautiful, ancient church comes alive with summer services on Saturday evenings, offered by the people and rector of St. Paul’s.
In 2015, Grace-filled Ministries of St. Paul’s sponsored a popular, old-fashioned hymn sing and ice cream social at the old church in late August.
The church has also been the site of numerous baptisms, confirmations and weddings over the years.
- Craft, Reverend, David, History of Bradford County, reprint, 1992.
- Hotchkin, M.A., Country Clergy of Pennsylvania, P.W. Ziegler & Co., Philadelphia, Pa., 1890.
- Johnson, F.C., Editor, “An Old Time Church”, The Historical Record, Vol. V, Wilkes Barre-Press, 1895.
- Miller, Rev, Jonathan Wesley, History of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, 1871-1909, Frackville, 1909.