Welcome To Saint Matthews Lutheran Church
“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.” – Psalm 29:2
We pray for guidance and support, inspiration, examples of Christian service and leadership provided by our membership and our larger Church family. We have been blessed in many ways as we strive to worship and serve in the name of Jesus Christ.
History of the Church
During the year 1856 and part of 1857, the Rev. J. Richards, oneof the early pioneer Lutheran pastors in Illinois, came to Princeton and preached to the scattered Lutherans of the community. This can be regarded as the beginning of English Lutheranism in this vicinity.
On November 8, 1857, the Rev. Harbaugh relocated to Princeton and began the work of gathering a congregation of Lutherans. The first service was held in the home of Mr. George Kaar. From Mr. Kaar’s home, they moved into a hall on Main Street and then to several school houses and then held services in the Methodist Protestant Church for a time. No organization was effected until February 27th 1858 at a meeting held in Bacon & White’s Hall on South Pleasant Street.
Windows of St. Matthews
One of the distinct features of the sanctuary at St. Matthews is the twenty windows on either side that portray the Biblical story, and the large stained glass window that looms above the chancel. They are spectacular in the morning and evening when the sun is low in the sky.
A Brief history of our stained glass windows
St. Matthews moved into its current building in 1956. Shortly after that move, the large altar window depicting the welcoming Jesus was installed, thanks to a generous donation by the Harry Quick family.
In 1971, a bequest was left to St. Matthews by the Levering family with the stipulation that it be utilized for stained glass windows. After conducting a study, additional funds were raised, and the 20 windows depicting the Biblical story were purchased and installed on the north and south walls of the nave in 1972.
St. Matthews enjoyed beautiful windows in its previous facility as well. When the congregation moved to its current location, those windows were sold with the building to a small group attempting to begin a new congregation. Legend has it that a few years later, when that concregation failed, the owner of the building sold the stained glass windows separately for more money than the original purchase price of the building.
Window Gallery and Information
The Altar Window: Jesus Invites Us
In the 11th chapter of Matthew, Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest” (Matt 11:28, NRSV). The most prominent window at St. Matthews is the one above the altar and is centered around the open-armed Christ inviting all to come. Subtly placed within the panels is Jesus’ invitation from this verse.
This main window actually encompasses much of Christianity’s key doctrines.
The Trinity is symbolized at the top of the window with the creative hand of God (top left lancet – Genesis 1) depicting the Father, the “Lamb that takes away the sin of the world” (top center lancet – John 1:29) representing the Son, and the descending dove (top right lancet – Matthew 3:16) symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
Plan A Visit
Here’s where we’ll help visitors prepare to meet our St. Matthews family.