In 1858 a young pastor from Germany formally organized
St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Galena. Traveling pastors
had laid the groundwork. The congregation had no church
building for its first seven years, but with the end
of the Civil War the present brick church building on
High Street was finished. Soon afterward the congregation
purchased a bell and set it in a tower on the roof.
When the bell rang the roof shook, so the present bell
tower was added. A tornado removed the church's roof
in the 1870's, and the congregation decided not only
to rebuild, but to enlarge.
The Church Celebrated it's 150th Anniversary
The 1950's brought the Parish Hall for church activities
of all kinds, and the 2000's brought an addition to the Parish
Hall with a unique, domed ceiling on the second floor.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church was associated in its early
days with two Lutheran church bodies. Soon it became
an independent church, remaining so for decades until
the formation of the American Lutheran Church in 1960.
It is presently a member of the Lutheran Congregations
in Mission for Christ "LCMC".
Through a Civil War, World Wars, and other major wars,
through depressions and epidemics, and in good times
as well, the people of St. Matthew Lutheran Church have
worshiped the Lord in an unbroken tradition since the
founding of the congregation.
The theme for the 150th anniversary expresses the congregation's