St. Matthew's Community African Methodist Episcopal Church of Hollis was founded and organized by Reverend Mackey C. Carpentier, New Years Eve, December 31, 1957 under Presiding Bishop of the First Episcopal District, the Right Reverend George W. Baber.
SMC was originally named St. Albans Community AME Church with approximately 75-100 members. Worship services were held in a storefront building formerly used by a Republican Party at 112-15 Farmers Blvd., St. Albans, NY.
SMC’s membership was made up of people moving into the St. Albans and Hollis, Queens area. Within 5 years, membership grew and in 1962 SMC decided to move into larger quarters.
SMC organized a choir, and a very large church school. They changed their name to St. Matthew’s Community AME Church. Sis. Clarice Flynn, one of our original members, was listed as helping to lay the ground work for SMC’s new home.
SMC purchased property at a cost of $100,000.00, which was formerly the old Island Cinema Theatre. Adjacent to the church was a cab stand, barbershop and a bar which is now our beautiful fellowship hall.
Membership began to grow to 150 plus under Reverend Carpertier’s leadership. Presiding Elder Freeman established the 1st missionary society and named it after Mrs. Carpentier’s mother, the late Mrs. Keturah Demetrius.
Various members of SMC contributed to the large amount of renovation that needed to be done in order to beautify the sanctuary. They worked tirelessly to make sure mortgage payments were made and to reduce debts.
By 1971, Reverend Carpentier was reassigned to a new church home by the New York Annual Conference. Reverend John Kemp became the newly appointed pastor of SMC. Bishop John Bright presided in May 1971. While under Reverend Kemp’s leadership, SMC was brought under a strong Methodist discipline. They were still struggling with mortgage payments and debts and he NEVER took a salary for his entire tenure. He increased the church’s membership even more and reduced the 1st mortgage payment. He was truly a great pastor and man of God.
In May 1976 Reverend Kemp was reassigned to a new church home and Reverend T. James Baptiste was appointed as the new pastor of SMC. During his administration he also helped renovate the church by bricking the front and raising windows, getting new sidewalks and installing speakers and jacks to name a few things. In what is now called the fellowship hall, he arranged for church offices to be built. Under his leadership the SMC church mortgage was finally paid off in full by 1981 and the church celebrated with a huge program to commemorate the burning of the mortgage. Senators, Councilmembers, and the Mayor of New York at the time, the Honorable Edward I. Koch, attended this grand event.
In the late 1980’s SMC welcomed a new pastor The Reverend Cosmos E. Bonaparte and under his leadership, SMC was able to replace the old Island Cinema Theatre setting of SMC by ripping out the theatre seats, tearing down the walls and rebuilding a brand new sanctuary. Because of his great background in architecture, Reverend Bonaparte drew up the plans for a new church which was well over several thousands of dollars to do, but did not charge the church a penny. SMC came together as a family and each member donated lights and pews. The pews have the different family names engraved on the sides. Reverend Bonaparte was also a great pastor as was all the others, but just as the others, he was reassigned and SMC was embraced by the Reverend Theodore Nichols.
From 1994-1996 Reverend Nichols was SMC’s 5th pastor. During his leadership, he brought many organizations in the church together to become stronger and more involved members. The first lady, his wife, Sis. Catherine Nichols was also very active in the church and helped to form the largest youth choir SMC had ever had. The choir was so good that they were invited to sing at Cissy Houston’s (famous R&B singer Whitney Houston’s mother) church in New Jersey.
Shortly after, in 1996 SMC received a new pastor, the Reverend Dr. Andrea Lynn McGregor Hargett, who is the first female to serve as pastor at SMC. Pastor Hargett has brought back the vision that all the original pastors had in mind by making SMC reach out to the community. She was constantly giving and in particularly, embracing of our youth. One summer she registered over 100 kids for the summer enrichment program and let them attend FREE of charge. That was truly a challenge by, it was a vision for her to reach out. She also arranged and conducted a group of members and friends of SMC to travel with her to Ghana, Africa and they worked with B.A.S.I.C.S. International, Incorporated to help demolish illiteracy among the children in Africa. She also worked tirelessly to reconstruct our fellowship hall and under her leadership, brand new offices were created in the rear of the sanctuary as well as beautifying the upper level of the church with a prayer room and renovating the bathrooms. The church is truly blessed to have had such a wonderful spirit filled Servant of God. Rev. Dr. Hargett is also the longest serving Pastor in the history of SMC.
Our current pastor, the Rev. Dr. Kevin D. Miller was appointed as the 7th Pastor of SMC on April 30th, 2023, by the Presiding Prelate of the First Episcopal District, the Right Reverend Julius Harrison McAllister, Sr.
Pastors of SMC
Reverend Mackey C. Carpentier (1957 – 1971)
Reverend John Kemp (1971 – 1976)
Reverend T. James Baptiste (1976 – late 1980’s)
Reverend Cosmos E. Bonaparte (Late 1980’s – 1994)
Rev. Theodore Nichols (1994 – 1996)
Rev. Andrea Lynn McGregor Hargett (1996 – 2023)
Rev. Dr. Kevin D. Miller (2023 -
Current Ministerial Staff
Rev. Joe Brown
Rev. Edwin Reed
Rev. Mary Reed, MD
Licentiate Lei-Ann Mosby
Licentiate Malcolm Sydnor