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. 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. In the Winter of 2006, we added a third service at 9:45 AM to provide additional space for the few months until the opening of the new worship center. In the fall of 2001, the Preschool Academy of Westchester was established for our growing community, offering quality Christian 2 day a week preschool education. We opened our new Worship Center in September of 2006, and have continued to be blessed by growth in attendance and additional ministry opportunities.
Our pastoral history:
Jim Haskell August 1980-February 1984Called to Bowling Green, Ky
Ebbie Smith (Interim) Ron ProctorNovember 1984-February 1987Called to Home Mission Board Ebbie Smith(Interim) Roger FergusonSeptember, 1987-August, 1996Called to Owasso, OK
Tom Ruane(Interim) Malcolm StuartMarch, 1998 - August, 2000 Jerry Poteet(Interim) Daniel SweetMarch 2001 - Present
God’s history for Matthew Road has just begun; the best is yet to come.
Here is a recent history, detailing our progress to build a new Worship Center, growth in attendance and mission work over the last eight years:
January 2000Debt Owed on Education Building: Over $160,000
July 2000Average Worship Attendance of 150
April 2001Added a Second Sunday Morning Worship Service on Easter Sunday
October 2001Average Worship Attendance of 250
April 2002Established the Long-Range Planning Task Force
December 2002Average Worship Attendance of 300
August 2003Debt Paid in Full! Long-Range Planning Task Force Presentation
November 2003Opening of the New Adult Education Center
September 2004Long-Range Planning Task Force Recommendation for New Building
October 2004Unanimous Approval of New Worship Center Design, Contract Signed with Architect
March/April 2005United We Build Campaign/Spiritual Preparation Weekend and In-Home Prayer Visits April 30-May 113-Hour Prayer Vigil, United We Build Banquet, Harvest of Faith Commitment Cards September 18, 2005Ground Breaking Service for New Worship Center, 448 in attendance December 2005Average Worship Attendance of 370 January 2006Dirt work begins! $265,151 Given Toward Project April 2006Foundation for new building poured, Easter attendance of 552
October 15, 2006Grand Opening of New Worship Center, 558 in attendance November 2007Church plant started in Flores Magon, Mexico; 24 individuals travel to Mexico to help with medical, dental, construction and evangelism July 2008Pastor Poncho hosts Vacation Bible School with over 80 kids in Flores Magon December 2008Average Worship Attendance of 466 January 2009MRBC hosts its third pastors' conference in Mexico with over 25 pastors in attendance