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St. Matthew's Stevensville: Repairs, Restoration, Photo


June 11, 2013

Dear Friends of St. Matthews Church, Stevensville PA

Thank you for your interest in the restoration of St. Matthew’s.  The purpose of this letter is to provide additional information on the repairs and restoration effort and to ask for your help in supporting the renewed life of St. Matthew’s. (A one page summary of this effort is provided as Attachment 1.)

St. Matthew’s has been without an active congregation since 1903. Due to the lack of an active congregation monies from friends are needed which is central to the preservation of the church structure; as well to ensure that the church has a strong foundation, a sound roof, and a painted exterior. These monies have been given to ensure that these three elements of the church structure that has been addressed and these needs are detailed in Attachment 2.

A report on St. Matthew’s was given at the Annual Meeting of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Montrose, PA on May 19, 2013. (This report is Attachment 3.) St. Paul’s has provided ownership and support to St. Matthew’s for many decades.  Plans for the future are to provide community services during the summer months as a way of reaching out to our community.

A donation for St. Matthew’s is managed through St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and will be acknowledged as a tax deductable donation. It is important to know that controls exist on the disbursement of funds. Each check issued requires two signatures from designated members of St. Paul’s church and does not include Clergy, the Church Secretary, or myself as the Steward of St. Matthew’s church.

Please review the attached information and consider the restoration of St. Matthew’s as worthy of your support and future ministries. I am available to answer any questions, provide on-site tours, share engineering evaluations on the church’s current state, and to share quotations for repairs we have received to date.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Very Best Regards,
Bob Kimmell
Steward, St. Matthew’s Church, Stevensville, PA
Home Phone (570) 553-2314

Attachment 1
St. Matthew’s Church, Stevensville PA
Repair and Restoration

Project Overview

  • St. Matthew’s Church was founded in 1799 and the current church was built from 1814 to 1820 and therefore is approaching the bicentennial of the church structure
  • Efforts are being expended to ready the church for its bicentennial and its next 100 years of service
  • Activities in 2013 are to re-establish the structural integrity of the church, particularly the foundation walls and piers
    • Calendar year 2013 activities are 95% funded and are in process of being performed now
    • Planned activities for 2014 are to complete structural integrity repairs and to paint the exterior of the church
      • 2014 activities are not funded at this time
      • Estimated 2014 expenses are $35, 000
      • Mr. Bob Kimmell is the Steward for St. Matthew’s Church and is on St. Paul’s Property Committee and Vestry
        • Mr. Kimmell is retired, having spent 30 years as a Project Manager in the defense industry and has held high level governmental security clearances with associated analysis of his character and integrity

St. Matthew’s Fundraising

  • Donations for St. Matthew’s are managed through St. Paul’s and are processed through Giving Account #207
    • Donations to St. Matthew’s are acknowledged on St. Paul’s / St. Matthew’s letterhead and are tax deductable

Attachment 2
St. Matthew’s Church, Stevensville PA
Repair and Restoration Details


  • Foundation; Sunken piers supporting floor joist and interior post
    • Quoted, awarded, in process
    • Funded, $19,000
    • Foundation; Failing left side wall
      • Quoted, awarded, in process
      • Funded, $9,900
      • Roof Section; Failing bell tower interface to roof rafters
        • Quoted, $6,400
        • Not funded
        • Tie bell tower structural members using bolted metal angles
        • Back of Church; Failing rear sills due to rot
          • Partially Quoted, $ 6,200 (northeast one third of church back)
          • Not funded
          • Partially lift rear of church and replace rotted sills

Exterior Surfaces

  • Rear of Church; Drainage improvement
    • Not quoted
    • Not funded
    • Excavation, drain tile, gravel fill, 2x3 bluestone top
    • Full Church Exterior; Paint
      • Not quoted, bid specification to be developed
      • Not funded
      • Scrape and paint church exterior and repair damaged boards and/or fasteners

Attachment 3
2013 Property Committee Report, St. Matthew’s Stevensville, PA

St. Paul’s property committee representative, responsible for St. Matthew’s church is Bob Kimmell.  Bob’s responsibilities are for the care and oversight of the physical plant and property of St. Matthew’s.  This includes the building, property and grounds. 

St. Matthew’s congregation formed in 1799 and construction on the current church commenced in 1814, completed in 1820 and was consecrated in 1824. As such, the church structure is approaching the bicentennial of its construction. Of significance, St. Matthew’s has not had a full time clergy and congregation since 1903, yet has had an active history of summer services.  Up until a choir loft ceiling collapse in 2011, participation in summer Saturday services had an ever-increasing assembly of congregants, averaging around sixteen faithful and enthusiastic participants. The area where the church is located has had an influx of summer residents, retirees, and energy workers in the natural gas industry who could be solicited by outreach to further grow the number of participants in services at St. Matthew’s. 

The ceiling collapse and the leak that caused the 2011 ceiling collapse were repaired in 2012. For calendar year 2013 a major project is underway to restore the structural integrity of St. Matthew’s. The church will be raised off its foundation, new piers will be constructed to support the structure, and a failing foundation wall supporting the left side of the church will be rebuilt. Although the church will look un-changed at the completion of this first phase of restoration, the structure will be “returned to square” and placed on a solid foundation.  

Four other elements of St. Matthew’s church require attention in order to have the church safe and presentable for her bicentennial. These include:

  • Fix structural elements in the roof section that have failed due to age and stress.
  • Improve drainage in the rear of the church that has caused the building to rot.
  • Repair rot in the sills and siding at the rear of the church.
  • Paint the exterior of the church.


A fundraising campaign will be initiated to accomplish the four needed items identified above. Further, a number of support activities have been identified to the local community which would serve as High School Senior Projects or Boy Scout Eagle Projects, thus increasing the community’s association with St. Matthew’s.

The interior of the church is primitive by design, and as such has no heat, electricity, and plumbing. This factor reduces the recurring cost of the church. A historic restoration of the church’s interior would represent a grand completion of this church’s renaissance, but is not financially feasible at this time.  

Respectfully submitted for the Property Committee,                                   Bob Kimmell


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