Our Congregation

In 1853, the congregation of St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Conestogo was formed. Many of the first settlers in the Conestogo area came directly from Lutheran communities in Germany. The first services were held in the village school house but in 1853, the congregation purchased land and built their first church building.

In 1871-1875, the church shared a ministry with St. James in Elmira.

In 1876-1887, the church shared a ministry with St. John’s, Waterloo.

In 1887, a new parish was formed with Bridgeport and Breslau which lasted until 1900.

In July of 1899, St. Matthew’s became part of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Canada.

In 1900, Breslau dropped out of the parish arrangement and St. Peter’s Linwood joined.

In 1905, the parish arrangement changed again and a new parish was formed including Conestogo, Bridgeport and St. Jacobs.

On January 4, 1916, nine ladies met in the basement of the church to organize the Ladies Aid under the leadership of Pastor Hansen.

In 1917, the Youth Group of St. Matthew’s became affiliated with the Luther League of Canada.

Between the years of 1931-1938 a Lutheran Brotherhood organization functioned.

In the 1930s, German language services were discontinued.

In 1947, Bridgeport dropped out of the parish arrangement leaving St. Matthew’s Conestogo and St. James, St. Jacobs in the parish arrangement.

A cradle roll was organized in 1950.

The first Vacation Bible School was held in Conestogo in 1959.

In 1980, the congregation decided to support a refugee family. Others were supported in later years also.

The parish initiated into an Internship Program starting in 1987.

In 2002, St. Matthew’s and St. James voted to separate from the parish arrangement and each continue alone which was effective September 1, 2002.

In 2023, St. Matthew’s voted to become a Welcoming congregation.