The History of St. Luke Church of God in Christ
St. Luke had its humble beginnings in the early 1930’s under the leadership of Elder D. Gray. At that time the saints worshipped under a brush arbor. Brush arbors were used by many of the saints in the early 1900’s. They would take some sticks and make a frame, then cover it over with vines and shrubs for shade. Some simply found a place that was shaded by trees and vines and worshipped there. This outdoor service attracted many people and souls were saved and added to the church as the power of God was poured out under the brush arbor.
St. Luke grew as whole families became a part of its congregation. As the church grew they were able to build a place in which to worship. In the early 1950’s a wood frame building was erected. The building was supported by large wooden poles inside the building. During the cold weather a large gas burning heater was used to keep the people warm. The saints also used the heater to warm their box lunches when they served dinner on the grounds. The members brought water from home for cleaning and drinking because there was no indoor plumbing. Restrooms were outside, the non-flushable kind. The lack of central heat and running water didn’t stop the latter rain from falling nor did it stop the fire of the Holy Spirit from being poured out.
The saints continued to worship in the wood frame building until a tornado destroyed it in the spring of 1970. The tornado may have destroyed the building but it didn’t damage the faith of the members of St. Luke. They immediately set out to rebuild the Lord a house. While the building was under construction the Church of God opened their doors and allowed St. Luke to hold services there. The new building was a welcome sight to the members. Instead of a wooden frame, the building was covered with brick. Instead of the outside toilets, there were indoor restrooms with running water. There was also a dining room added with stove and sink where dinners could actually be cooked and not just warmed. With the new building the saint’s spirits soared even higher and the Lord continued to add souls to the church.
There were several leaders who were in the forefront during the many stages in St. Luke’s History. As mentioned earlier the first pastor was Elder D. Gray. Other pastors in succession were Elder Isadore Slack, Elder L.A. Williams, Elder John Alexander, Elder L.K. Roy, Elder Percy Dean, Elder T.B. Copprue, and Elder Jimmy Kilpatrick. All these pastors were great in their times, but in May of 1977 God sent the present pastor to. St. Luke. It can be said to Elder Frank Howard, “many pastors have done well, but you excel them all. To list all the accomplishments that have occurred during the leadership of the present pastor, Elder Frank Howard, would be quite a task, but some of them are listed below.
In 1977 there were only two Sunday School Classes, one for the adults and one for the children. Under Elder Howard’s leadership there are eight classes for children and youth and six for the adults. Classrooms have been built to accommodate all the classes.
The present pastor serves full time, in contrast to the earlier years when the pastor had two or more congregations to serve. Because the pastor gives his time to the church there is now a beautiful and spacious sanctuary, an educational complex, a well equipped kitchen and dining room, lounging areas, a multipurpose annex and all that is needed to fulfill the mission of the church.
Elder Howard’s motivation for missions has also enabled St. Luke to have the largest membership in the history of this church.
Because of Elder Howard’s leadership the church doors are opened almost every night in the week with activities to enrich both young and old.
“To God Be the Glory for the great things He has done. May God bless St. Luke to Continue to grow and to carry out the Great Commission–preaching the gospel to every creature till Jesus comes again.