It can be difficult to know what to expect when visiting a church for the first time.
At St. Matthew Lutheran we want you and your family to feel wholly welcome. Please come as you are!
Below you’ll find information about our services & answers to some frequently asked questions.
10 am SUNDAY, a contemporary, family-friendly service with music. Following the service we enjoy fellowship over coffee and snacks.
Infants, toddlers, children, and youth are welcome at all of our services.
We also have worship services on special occasions, such as Christmas, Holy Week, and other times as determined by the congregation.
You are welcome to dress however you feel most comfortable. This is not a fashion show. We have an open atmosphere of dress. Some dress up a bit, some dress more casually, some wear shorts and sandals. All that matters is that you bring your true self into fellowship and worship. Come, join us!
Our worship style is a vibrant blend of the historic and the new. All worship is guided by an easy-to-follow bulletin printed for each week’s services. Each pew is furnished with hymnals. We’ve prepared for you and your family to join us!
Infants, toddlers, children, and youth are integral members of the body of Christ. The church is incomplete without them. Please bring your entire family with you! You are always welcome to keep your children with you in the sanctuary during service. We welcome their energy and life in our worship! “Busy bags” and booklets are available in the sanctuary for children to play with. You’ll note that children & youth serve as acolytes, readers, and intercessors in our services. Again, this is because they are full members of the church.
We celebrate Communion (also known as the Holy Eucharist) each Sunday morning. All of God’s children are welcome to receive at God’s Table. Jesus Christ is the host at God’s Table, and he is a gracious and welcoming Lord. If you hunger and thirst for the things of God, come to the Table, for there we receive true spiritual food and drink. All baptized persons (including infants, toddlers, and children) are welcome to receive Communion at St. Matthew Lutheran Church.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church has a very impressive Church history. In 1845 a group of Germans gathered in Bremen, Germany, at the mouth of the Weser River. They came from Nuremburg, Bavaria, Hesse Darmstat and Wurtenberg. After weeks of ocean voyage, they landed in New Orleans, then headed north toward Indiana. Large ice drifts on the Ohio River prevented further travel, so they were forced to settle in Paducah, Kentucky. They were orchardmen by trade and soon discovered their fruit cuttings would thrive in Kentucky. As a result, the families decided to build their homes, plant their fruit orchards and begin their lives anew in their adopted country. To preserve their unity of faith, these German-speaking Lutherans met in their homes to worship for over 10 years, with occasional visits of itinerant pastors. In 1856, one of these itinerant pastor, Rev. Frederick Nestmann, offered to help organize a church.
On November 16, 1856 the Evangelical Lutheran St. Matthew Congregation of McCracken County was founded with 21 adult members. A church and parsonage were built on South Friendship Road. A small log cabin was built to use as a secular school and for general religious instruction. In 1867, fire destroyed the church. A remodeled parsonage was used as a chapel for 19 years, until a new church was built in 1886. In 1886 another group of Lutherans who lived in the city organized a church known as St. Paul’s. Both churches were without regular services, so they shared the same supply pastors. In 1913 a sacristy and bell tower were added to the country church, and a new altar and pulpit secured. In 1921, St. Matthew established its own ULCA parish, and a chapel was built at 600 5th St. in Paducah to serve city residents. The country church continued to serve the rural families. After the chapel was heavily damaged in the 1937 flood, a new church home was needed. So St. Matthew’s constructed a new church at 27th and Broadway, replacing the existing chapel and country church. Now, both city and rural members were united physically for worship.
In 1960, a house next door to the church was bought and converted into a parish house to provide additional space. As the church continued to grow, still more space was needed. The parish house was removed and a multi-purpose Alpha Center was built adjacent to the church. This new building facilitated expanded ministries and fellowship. This space was dedicated in 1973. In 1974, St. Matthew developed a satellite ministry at Gilbertsville, Kentucky near Kentucky Dam. St. Matthew by the Lake Lutheran Church was dedicated in 1984. In 1991 St. Matthew met for its final service in the old church, as work was begun to build a new sanctuary. Worship services were held in the Alpha Center during the construction. On October 25, 1992, St. Matthew Lutheran dedicated their new sanctuary, which is the present place of worship.