St. Matthew's church began its life as St Matthew's mission in 1944 and the Diocese of St. Augustine purchased the present site of the church and school. Fr. Joseph Corde was assigned to be in charge. The first masses of St. Matthew's mission were offered in the Lake Shore Theater and the American Legion Hall. Within two years the chapel at Camp Blanding was purchased, relocated to the present site of St. Matthew's, and remodeled. The first masses offered on site were in April of 1949. In that same year St. Matthew's Church was formally established as a parish with Fr. Corde as pastor. From 1950 to 1951 the Parish Hall (now kindergarten and lunch room), the first wing of the school, and the Convent, were all constructed. In 1953 Fr. Corde accepted a new assignment leaving behind six years of labor and accomplishment. Fr. Paul Manning arrived as our new pastor. Shortly thereafter a census was taken determining that the original frame of the church would not be able to accommodate the parish as St. Matthew's flourished. By April of 1954, a campaign to raise $160, 000 to build a larger church was launched. Unfortunately, Fr. Manning was beset with ill health, and in February of 1955 transferred to St. Petersburg. Bishop Thomas McDonough, while remaining Pastor of St. Paul's in Jacksonville Beach, was appointed administrator to supervise the building of our present church. Ground was broken on Christmas day, 1955. The following Christmas, 1956, the new church was dedicated by Archbishop Hurley. In February of 1957, Fr. Daniel Hegarty was appointed pastor. Many new churches spun-off from St. Matthew's in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Sacred Heart Parish and Most Holy Redeemer Parish were established from territory cut off from St. Matthew's. As St. Matthew's continued to grow a new rectory was constructed in 1968, followed by our gymnasium in 1973. In 1980 Monsignor Hegarty celebrated his 23rd year at St. Matthew's, and his golden jubilee of ordination, he retired as pastor of St. Matthew's. Monsignor John P. Burns was appointed the new Pastor in June of 1980. After his arrival, Msgr. Burns renovated the convent, installed 10 stained glass windows, and renovated the school. Bishop John Snyder dedicated and blessed the new windows in the church and the renovations of the school on the 35th anniversary of St. Matthew's Church on November 18, 1984. In January 1994, Bishop Snyder dedicated the newly renovated church. In July 1994 Monsignor John P. Burns retired after 14 years of faithful service to the people of St. Matthew's. Fr. Luke McLoughlin was appointed Pastor of St. Matthew's in July 1994.