Originally organized as the Florence Ward in 1923, the ward name was changed to Matthews in 1924 after a $15,000 donation towards a building by ward member George Leon Matthews. A convert from the RLDS Church, George was 86 years old in 1926. The ward members suggested and voted for the ward name to be changed in his honor. Because of the donation, construction began immediately. Dedicated the following year, the entire building would cost about $22,000. In 1926, George and his wife also donated an Estey organ to the building.
On Feb 2, 1941 ground breaking took place for a new chapel to be built to the west of the original chapel. The new building was dedicated on Feb 7, 1943 by Charles A Callis of the Twelve. By 1962, the Ward was made the official Indian Branch Headquarters for the area and by Feb 1963, the Matthews Ward would be discontinued and combined with another ward.
The building has since been sold and is now being used by the New Morning Star Baptist Church. The letters ‘LDS’ still remain in the entry lobby off of the busy street which functions as the main entry into the building. Beyond the doors is the Cultural Hall.
210 W Florence
Los Angeles, CA
Architect: Harold W. Burton
Now Greater New Morning Star Baptist Church
Map Location of Building