About Us

SMBC History

St. Matthew's Baptist Church (SMBC) was established in 1924 under the direction of its founding pastor, Rev. James Russell. In 1947 the church purchased the site on Glassboro Road, broke ground in 1948 and began hosting its services for its growing congregation.

St. Matthew's Baptist Church (SMBC) was established in 1924 under the direction of its founding Pastor, Rev. James Russell. In 1947, the church purchased the site on Glassboro Road and installed Rev. R. V. Nichols as Pastor; SMBC began hosting services for its growing congregation. Rev. R. V. Nichols faithfully served for 45 years until he officially retired in January 1986 at the age of 97.

In 1987, Dr. Raymond Gordon answered the call to pastor SMBC and implemented a 15-year, multi-phase plan that included several outreach initiatives and constructing a state-of-the-art worship center.

By January of 1994, the ministry completed phase one of its plans when it built a new, 2000-seat sanctuary on 8 ½ acres of property across the street from the original site of the church.

In 1997, SMBC began phase two of its plan with the completion of The Family Life Center, affectionately called The John C. Bethea Family Life Center in 2000. The facility houses a full-court gym, game room, a fully equipped commercial kitchen, snack shop and an education wing which includes 14 classrooms.

In 2004, SMBC completed phase three and built a 45,000 square-foot Community Development Center on a lot adjacent to St. Matthew's Baptist Church. The community center houses 22 meeting rooms and a large all-purpose room with a stage and seating for 1,145 people.

In 2006, SMBC revealed phase four, a 32,000 square foot recreation facility housing a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis courts and an aquatic center that features a Jr. Olympic size swimming pool. The recreation center offers diversified programs that encourage health and wellness to residents of the surrounding communities.

As a result of Pastor Gordon's leadership, the church has grown from less than 200 members to more than 11,000 members. It has multiple services on Sunday's, a weekly Bible Study (C.O.R.E. - Continuing Order of Religious Education) and over 40 ministries including a weekly television and a daily radio broadcast (Perfect Peace Ministry) which reaches, teaches, and disciples millions of people for Jesus Christ each week.

St. Matthew's Baptist Church (SMBC) was established in 1924 under the direction of its founding pastor, Rev. James Russell.  In 1947 the church purchased the site on Glassboro Road, broke ground in 1948 and began hosting its services for its growing congregation.

In 1987, Dr. Raymond Gordon answered the call to pastor SMBC and implemented a 15-year, multi-phase plan that included several outreach initiatives and constructing a state-of-the-art worship center.  By January of 1994, the ministry completed phase one of its plans when it built its new, 2000-seat sanctuary on 8 ½ acres of property across the street from the original site of the church. 

In 1998, SMBC completed phase two of its plan with the completion of its recreation center.  Affectionately called The John C. Bethea Family Life Center, the facility houses a full-court gym, game room, a fully equipped commercial kitchen, snack shop and an education wing which includes 14 classrooms.

As a result of Pastor Gordon's leadership, the church has grown from 200 members to more than 8000, three services per week, one general weekly Bible Study (C.O.R.E. -  continuing order of religious education), over 40 ministries including a weekly television and radio broadcast and a 45,000 square-foot community center, conference site which opened September 12th, 2004, and Recreation Center with a Fitness Center, Jr. Olympic-sized Swimming Pool, and Tennis Courts, opened December 17, 2006.