Our History

4. Mid-century growth and expansion: 1947 to 1972

The second 50 years in the life of Saint Matthias were ushered in with the arrival of a new rector, the Reverend Albert E. Jenkins. With his wife Nancy, the Reverend Jenkins provided the high level of faith, dedication, and leadership required to meet the challenges of growth and expansion that began in the post-war years and which continued into the 1970s.

In the early 1950s, a great population push from the East resulted in the rapid and widespread construction of tract homes in Southern California, and like all churches in the area, Saint Matthias experienced rapid growth and expansion; indeed, during this time, it was not uncommon to have several new families appearing in church every Sunday. To meet the needs of an increasingly large congregation, with guidance provided by Reverend Jenkins, the Saint Matthias Vestry acquired property adjoining the existing church building for expansion. A fund comprising $96,000 in pledges and cash helped to fund a two-story, wrap-around building beside and behind the existing church structure. The large addition was dedicated in 1957 and named Lewis Hall to honor the Reverend Edwin T. Lewis for his 27 years of service as rector. In 1963, the church constructed a second, L-shaped parish building with 20 classrooms and general purpose rooms, plus a conference room (the Chase Room), at a cost of $195,000. In the process of preparing for this expansion, the church acquired adjoining lots, providing land for parking, the sexton's home, and a playground for the church schoolchildren. Subsequently, Oralingua School, a private school for children with impaired hearing, began to use part of this new facility for its important program, and occupied the space from 1971 until February 2013.