St. Matthew Lutheran Church

Living God's Love. Three words that an entire church, an entire family was founded upon. The Congregation began on Memorial Day, 1936 in Lafayette Township with Rev. Carl Henkelman. As his mother proclaimed, "It is unspossable that there doesn't be a Lutheran Church in Medina." Surveying and paper work began in early June to create a church for the roughly 14 Lutheran families in Medina. Other Lutheran churches in the area and local families pitched in for financial aid, moral support, and design for the building. Originally known as St. Peter's Church, it wasn't until 1940 that they received their charter as St. Matthew Evangelical Lutheran Church. The second pastor of the church, Weldon Bittekoffer, purchased the land where the church now stands.
Just as in any congregation, there have been hard times and good times. But the one quality that St. Matthew unequivocally has is its compassion for each other, community, and world. The church demonstrates its benevolence through the Youth Group that attends mission trips in areas such as New Orleans, Texas, and Detroit, the Steven Ministry, participating in the CROP Walk, and so much more. St. Matthew is more than a church, more than a congregation, it's a family. Keeping this church alive requires dedicated,loving people, and that's exactly what it has. Every day the people of St. Matthew Lutheran Church are making memories and living God's love.

Images

From Mission to Congregation

From Mission to Congregation

St. Matthew began in 1938 as a two part mission, with the Medina location at 110 W. Washington St., and the other part in Lodi. In 1948, the mission became a self-supporting church. The property at 400 N. Broadway was donated to the church so it could expand its influence in Medina. The first service at the new location was on May 6th, 1951. The first wedding in the church occurred on the same day: the union between Jeanie Schnettler and Bob Winterfield. Image courtesy of Caroline Obermeier View File Details Page

Old meets New

Old meets New

This picture captures the diversity of St. Matthew in 1951. Shown here is the oldest member of the congregation posing with the youngest member. This captures the importance of family and children in the church. Image courtesy of Sandy Homan View File Details Page

Emphasis on Education

Emphasis on Education

St. Matthew puts great value on teaching the youth of the church what it means to be a child of God. In 1961, an Educational Unit was built to accommodate the growing need for classrooms. An addition to this unit was built in 1981, due to the expansion of the congregation. Sunday School is taught between services during the school year at 9:45 AM. Image courtesy of Sandy Homan View File Details Page

Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places

Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places

Unless deceased, all of the smiling members in this photograph are still active in the congregation of St. Matthew. Sandi Harris is the youth choir director, Una Mae Gill is an active member of the Alter Guild, and Leithea Obermeier and Marliese Leggett are active members of the adult Bible study group. Interestingly enough, Leithea Obermeier, Una Mae Gill, and Lois Davis are the daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Schnettler, who were charter members of St. Matthew in 1938. All three sisters are still regular attendees of worship services every Sunday. Their other siblings have moved away, residing in New York, Washington, and southern Ohio. Image courtesy of Sandy Homan View File Details Page

Audio

Pastor Thomas Schwartz

Pastor Tom, or PT as the Luther League call him, loves the outdoors and walks with his dog. His wife Sarah teaches cello to many Medina Orchestra students. Here, PT shares his favorite memory from his time at St. Matthew. View File Details Page

Pastor David Anderson

Pastor Dave is an avid Cleveland sports fan, and is very outgoing and thoughtful. Here he shares two of his favorite experiences at St. Matthew. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sarah Waite and Caroline Obermeier, “St. Matthew Lutheran Church,” Discover Medina, accessed April 29, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/111.

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