25 January 2018 13:55 น. Churches, Dallas ,

The Cathedral Church of Saint Matthew, known simply as St. Matthew’s Cathedral, is an Episcopal cathedral church located at 5100 Ross Avenue in Dallas.

The cathedral is the official seat of the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas and is sometimes called the mother church of the diocese. It is listed by the Texas Historical Commission as a historic landmark.

St. Matthew’s Church was the third church formed in the city of Dallas. Reverend George Rottenstein conducted the first Episcopal church service in Dallas, May 25, 1856, on the second floor of a general store. At the time, Dallas was a town of about 400 people. The small congregation grew, and Rev. Rottenstein submitted Articles of Association to the Episcopal Church for the creation of the Episcopal Church of Saint Matthew to be effective September 21, 1857. The articles were ratified at the General Convention.

On July 8, 1860, a fire consumed most of the businesses on the town square as well as the rented facilities and all church belongings and records of Saint Matthew’s. The fire has been attributed to abolitionists by several historians[who?]. When the Right Rev. Alexander Gregg, first bishop of Texas, visited Dallas in October 1860, he found no church building, no records, and only six communicants. Bishop

1907 Photo St Matthew's Cathedral

Gregg gave assistance to the small congregation so that the parish could continue.

The parish recovered and grew such that by 1870, the parish had enough funds for the construction of its own church. The church bell was added later that same year.

As the city grew, it became necessary to move the church to another location. In 1877, the structure was put on heavy rollers pulled by oxen. However, the building collapsed. Parishioners, with the help of other citizens, carried the boards by hand to the new location and built a new church.

The Diocese of the Missionary District of Northern Texas was formed, led by the Right Reverend Alexander Garrett, and on February 2, 1875, Bishop Garrett named Dallas his see city and Saint Matthew’s as his cathedral church. On December 20, 1895, the Diocese of the Missionary District of Northern Texas became the Diocese of Dallas.

In 1893, the congregation constructed a fine new stone cathedral on the corner of Elm and Lamar, but within a few years the growing industrious city encroached. Train tracks were laid nearby, and one of the railroads operated noisy steam engines that arrived at a nearby station at noon each Sunday. Smoke from the train would fill the church on any given Sunday.

At that same time, Saint Mary’s Episcopal College for Women was facing substantial financial struggles as new schools opened in the city. The Vestry chose to relocate the Cathedral to the corner of Ross and Henderson and assume the debt of St. Mary’s College. The cathedral moved into its current location in July 1929. The Wall Street Crash of 1929 occurred in October, and the Cathedral, like its parishioners and citizens of Dallas, suffered greatly.

Postcard courtesy Joe E. Haynes collection, UNT’s Portal to Texas History. Information courtesy Wikipedia.