The Orthodox Church of St. Matthew is a community of Orthodox Christians who strive to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds and therefore seek to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-40).
The goals of our parish are to equip the members of the parish for the work of the ministry, for building up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) and that together we should grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18).
We are an active and welcoming parish, and look forward to meeting you at fellowship hour, which follows Divine Liturgy.
The Orthodox Church of St. Matthew began as a mission parish in April 1988, The first service of the St Matthew community was held on the fifth Saturday of Lent at the Main Chapel at Ft Meade, MD. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Father Gregory Pelesh, an Air Force Chaplain.
Father Raymond Valencia joined the parish as its priest on January 1, 1989, after graduating from Holy Cross Seminary. Parishioner Duane Johnson was called to attend St. Vladimir's Seminary. In 1998, Father Duane Johnson graduated from St. Vladimir's Seminary and returned to the St. Matthew parish as associate priest.
Over the years, as the parish grew, it moved to increasingly larger facilities in Columbia, MD. On Pascha in 1994, the parish agreed to sponsor St. Matthew House, a facility for physically disabled adults. St. Matthew House was dedicated by Metropolitan Theodosius on April 25, 1999.
As the parish continued to grow, it decided to pursue the development of a permanent place of worship, to be located in the Kings Contrivance Village Center, adjacent to St. Matthew House. For several years. Father Ray and Father Duane, with the help of several parishioners, obtained title to the land, developed and refined architectural plans, submitted plans for county approval, and secured building financing. On February 27, 2007, the First Sunday of Great Lent, Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the new building. The Altar and Church were consecrated by Metropolitan Herman on May 10, 2008.
In 2008 the parish held its first Multi-Cultural festival, which is now an annual tradition, featuring live ethnic entertainment and delicious hand-made foods from around the globe. The festival takes place during the first weekend in October.
Father Ray and Father Duane served at St. Matthew until October, 2010. On March 6, 2011, Forgiveness Sunday, Father Constantine White joined St. Matthew as the presiding priest. Matushka Nina White assists in the choir. The parish is grateful to have Father Chterion Zaprianov serve with Father Constantine when possible. The St. Matthew community witnessed the elevation of Deacon Sergius Miller to Protodeacon on Holy Saturday, April 15 2017.
Under Father Constantine's leadership, St. Matthew has grown to be a community that strives to cultivate the talents and abilities of ALL parishioners. St. Matthew is a "Body of Christ" ministry, where all are invited to share in the work of Christ's Holy Church. The community-minded ministry was concretely manifested through the response to the COVID pandemic, as the parish united to meet unprecedented challenges and needs. Youth and Junior FOCA members, as well as more senior parishioners, utilized innovative ideas and technology to bring the message of our Ancient Faith to all who could "hear and see."
Our community consists of more than 100 families from a diverse group of ethnic backgrounds including Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovakian, Georgian, Arab, Egyptian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Scandinavian, English, Irish, New Zealand, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and German. At the annual feast day of St. Matthew in November, the Agape Breakfast at Pascha, the parish picnic, and at the Multi-Cultural Festival, the parish delights in the many ethnic specialties prepared by its members.