Our tradition is a blending of Catholic and Protestant (Eastern and Western) Christianity in which Christians of all traditions may find a home and where each tradition enriches and fulfills the others.
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, “a fellowship within the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, of those duly constituted regional churches in communion with the see of Canterbury” in England. We “uphold and propagate the catholic and apostolic faith and order as set forth in The Book of Common Prayer,…bound together not by a central authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained by the common counsel of the bishops in conference.” Those words are from a resolution by the Lambeth Conference of 1930, a gathering of Anglican and Episcopal bishops from throughout the world.
The first Episcopal Church Service in Enid was celebrated over a century ago. The Cherokee Strip, in which Enid is located, was opened for settlement on September 16, 1893.
Enid was founded on that date and within 24 hours the Right Reverend Frances Key Brooke, Missionary Bishop to Oklahoma and The Indian Territories, celebrated Holy Eucharist. The Bishop conducted service while standing in a wagon. It was reported that a "large and respectable number of people" participated in one of three Christian services celebrated on that first Sunday after the opening of the Cherokee Strip.
Bishop Brooke and interested people of Enid organized St. Matthew's as a mission church eight months later in May 1894. There was also an Episcopal Church in North Enid called St. Thomas. It initially had more members than St. Matthew's, but there is no record of its existence after 1900.
During its early years St. Matthew's congregation was very small, but the devoted few met in homes, store, other buildings and even in the probate court.
In 1900, a lot was purchased and a building was planned. The Ladies Guild fundraisers were the main source of construction financing.
Bishop Brooke consecrated St. Matthew's in 1902 when the first building was completed. It was an extremely plain design, and was furnished with only a few pews. A dry goods box served as the alter and two soapboxes formed a lectern. But, the two dozen communicants were true and St. Matthew's carried on.
The original church building was sold and moved from the site in 1909. This made it possible for the present structure to be placed on the same lot where it stands today. Since then church has expanded several times both in physical size and attendance. In 1929 St. Matthew's was established as a parish church.
St. Matthew's has always prospered from the talents and passions of its own membership. Through the years many auxiliary groups have been formed to take care of the needs of our community.
In addition to the traditional Episcopal Church activities (choir, altar guild, children's Christian education), St. Matthew's continues to have many outreach programs both for our own church community as well as for the people of Enid.
Parish activities provide wonderful fellowship opportunities for our church community. An Advent Pageant, Christ Mass on Christmas Eve, Epiphany Party (which honors a different “far county” each year), newly adopted Lent Madness, Holy Week Agape Meal, Ecumenical Good Friday Service, Great Vigil of Easter, Resurrection Sunday, Pentecost Picnic, Heritage Sunday on the Feast of St. Matthew, Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Sunday, and Christ the King Sunday are all cherished times spent together in worship and in fellowship. Every Wednesday at noon a faithful core of 12-15 gather in St. Julian’s Chapel for Holy Eucharist with the Saints.
One of our annual highlights is our Heritage Sunday Church Service and Potluck held in the original Episcopal Church building which is now located in Humphrey Heritage Village at the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center in Enid.
Members of the parish serve on several boards and committees for organizations around town, and volunteer at places that help the needy.
Enid’s website describes our community with three words: Boundless, Vibrant and Original. Opportunities are Boundless. The Energy is Vibrant. Our History, as well as our Future, makes us an Oklahoma Original. There is a lot going on in our fair city, and it shows in many areas.
We live in a truly unique and wonderful community, and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church is part of that wonder. After all, we are Episcopalians: Community is what we do!