Matthew Road Baptist Church started out as Florence Hill Baptist Church. Florence Hill was organized in 1943 and was located on Beltline Road just south of Interstate 20. In the mid-1970’s, Florence Hill was changed forever with the beginning of the Trailwood Addition. In 1979, membership slowly declined and help was sought from the Dallas Baptist Association.
Simultaneously, Dr. Berl Cavin, Director of Missions for the Dallas Baptist Association, recognized the growth trends of Grand Prairie and identified a potential location for a church in the midst of that new growth. A seven and a half acre parcel was identified on Matthew Road just north of Polo Road as an ideal location. The Association put money down to reserve the land for a Baptist congregation.
Florence Hill Baptist Church, the Dallas Baptist Association and Fairview Baptist Church came together as only God can manage things. In February 1980, the members of Florence Hill Baptist Church became the Matthew Road Baptist Mission. The pastor of Florence Hill, John Allen, remained as interim pastor until August of 1980. The church then called Jim Haskell as its first pastor.
In July of 1981, ground was broken and the building was finished in December 1981. Growth was almost instantaneous; Matthew Road Baptist Mission led the Dallas Baptist Association in percentage increase in Sunday school attendance and membership for the years 1982-83 and 1983-84. On July 3, 1983, Matthew Road Baptist Mission ceased to exist and Matthew Road Baptist Church was constituted.
Growth has been steady. In 1988, eight Sunday school classes were meeting in homes. In 1989 the two-story education building was completed.
The twenty-first century has been a time of exponential growth for Matthew Road Baptist Church. This dynamic growth has led to an 8:30 AM service in 2002 and a third service at 9:45 AM in 2006. Though we no longer have the 9:45 AM service, we do now hold an additional contemporary service in the evenings at 6:45 PM. In the fall of 2001, the Preschool Academy of Westchester was established for our growing community, offering quality Christian preschool education 2 days a week. In October of 2006, we completed construction of a new worship center to welcome the people of our community into the family of God. In the fall of 2012, we established two separate schools to join with parents in providing Christian education for their students. The Primary Academy was created for Kindergarten through second grade, and Matthew Road Academy began for third grade through seniors in high school. Both schools are a blend of traditional education provided in the classroom two days a week and independent (or parent led) education the remainder of the week.
We have a firm foundation for future growth with a full-time College Minister, Zach Van Veldhuizen; a full-time Youth Minister, Matt Brown; a full-time Music Minister, Jeff Morris; a full-time Associate Pastor, Phil McGlothlin, a full-time Children's Minister, Brittany Harley; a full-time Preschool Minister, Cyndi King; and a full-time Minister to 20Somethings, Rachel Sullenger.
Missions are a big part of our ministry here at Matthew Road. We engage in local mission opportunities, such as Brighter Tomorrows, a domestic violence shelter for women and children. We support Mission Arlington both financially and by volunteering on occasion. We support the Dallas Baptist Association's Cooperative Program, along with the Texas Baptists and the North American Mission Board. We are committed to an orphanage in Constitución, Mexico along with two church plants, one located in Juárez and the other in Flores Magón. We are also committed to training pastors and furnishing supplies to churches not only in Mexico but also in Kohima, Nagaland. We have had numerous construction, dental and medical mission trips to Mexico, Nagaland, Haiti and Sudan. We participate with Make Way Partners in an orphanage in Nyamlel, Sudan. We support Bible translation work in Cameroon, Papua New Guinea and China.
Our pastoral history:
August 1980-February 1984
Called to Bowling Green, Ky
November 1984-February 1987
Called to Home Mission Board
September, 1987-August, 1996
Called to Owasso, OK
March, 1998 - August, 2000
March 2001 - Present
God’s history for Matthew Road has just begun; the best is yet to come.