Our History

3. The congregation grows, and a new sanctuary is built: 1920 to 1946

In the beginning of 1920, the Reverend Edwin T. Lewis became the first rector of Saint Matthias, a position he held until 1946. During Reverend Lewis's tenure, parish progress continued. In 1923, Saint Matthias acquired a lot at the corner of Washington Avenue and College Street (later renamed Wardman Street). Some six years later, on October 1929, the Right Reverend Frank Theodore Woods, D. D., Bishop of Winchester, England laid the cornerstone for a new church. The building was occupied by Christmastime, and continues to serve as our house of worship to this day. 

The new church building was erected by the Diocese Building Organization and cost $30,000. All but $4,000 of the total was paid in three-year pledges, and the balance due was gradually reduced until it was finally paid in full in summer 1943. Bishop W. Bertrand Stevens consecrated the church on November 7 of that year at a special ceremony; the pipe organ that provided the musical accompaniment was the same one the parish had purchased for $2,500 in 1933 and then paid off over a period of eight years with funds from special gifts and offerings.