HISTORY OF THE SAINT LUKE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1932 The Saint Luke Baptist Church had its beginnings in a dwelling house 74 years ago in a place called Sleepy Hollow.
A few sincere and dedicated persons had the foresight; saw the need and exercised faith in organizing this church.
The beginning pioneers were Bro. Charlie Copeland, Bro. John Peterson, Bro Harvey Merritt, Bro. R.B. Williams, Sis. Melinda Copeland, Sis. Emma Burke and Sis. Lula Owens.
The church began to grow under the leadership of such Pastors as Rev. Green, Rev. O.D. Jones and Rev. K.L. Adams.
In 1934 a new building was erected on Church Street under the leadership of Rev. G. A. Cropton, who served from 1934 until 1936.
1936 until 1942 Rev. S. M. Holmes served as Pastor.
In 1942 Rev. M. Finch was called and remained until 1947.
In 1947 the church called Rev. C.W. Sewell under this dynamic leadership, a portion of the present building was erected in the year of 1954. The front part of the sanctuary to the back of the pulpit was built. The building was dedicated in 1958 Rev. Sewell served from 1947 until 1959.
In 1959 the church called one of it’s own Pastors Rev. A. E. Cameron who worked along with the members sincerely and wholeheartedly for eleven years. Under his leadership the following additions were made to the present building the vestibule, usher room, office, choir room, restrooms and Pastor Study.
In 1970 the Rev. James Flowers was called. Under his leadership the church continued to grow. Rev. Flowers had great faith and believed in progress. Supporting Rev. Flowers were these faithful Deacons and Trustees – Bro. Burt Jones, Bro. R. B. Williams, Bro. Arthur Kennedy, Bro. Jessie Rice, Bro. Theodis Spencer, Bro. Willie Harmon and Bro. Will Reed. The building was remodeled throughout. Additions to the former structure were the dining and kitchen area. An Education Department consisting of three classrooms, baptismal pool beneath the choir stand, centralized heating and air and a public address system. Rev. Flowers served from 1970 until 1979.
In 1979 the church called Rev. Herbert Shorter as Pastor and he remained until 1986. Under Rev. Shorter’s serving the parking lot was purchased.
In 1986 the church called Rev. Larry Coleman as Pastor, not only was he a great leader with a big heart, but he worked with his own hands to place a steeple , enlarged the kitchen and added a new P.A. system to our church building. The sanctuary was remodeled with covering of the pews and chairs. The church was blessed under Rev. Coleman’s leadership. He served until 1988.
In 1988 Rev, Zachary Operton was called and he served as Pastor until February 1991. Under his leadership the church deeds were paid off and a copy machine was purchased.
For the next eight months, the church endured without a leader. Relief came in July 1991 the Rev. Moses Hill the Chairman of Deacon Board was called to preach the gospel. Under his leadership, we had weekly bible study, teachers meeting, teen meeting, and youth bible study and night service. The church News Letter and video education program for the Youth Department was developed. Rev. Hill served from 1991 until 1993.
On April 12, 1993 the Rev. Fred A. Pyles was called to Pastor. Under his leadership we paved the parking lot, purchased a new organ and a new computer system and printer, added seven new Trustees, and two Deacons, which have been ordained to the church. A Friday night teen bible study and praise service was added. Under his leadership the church also added a large number of members; some through Christian experience and others by baptism. Rev. Pyles served until December 20, 1998.
For the next nine months St. Luke Baptist Church endured without a Pastor until September 1999 with prayer and guidance from the Lord Rev. Renfro Beavers, Jr. was called to lead the sheep and under the leadership of this Pastor we have added a new computer system to our financial office and he has implemented Tuesday night Bible study. Also the church has added one Deacon to the Board of Deacons, the church kitchen and bathroom have been remodeled. Rev. Beavers served from September 1999 until May 2004.
From May 2004 until May 2005 St. Luke endured without a Pastor. During this time with the guidance from the Holy Spirit and help from the Board of Deacons, a Pastoral Search Committee was established. During this search we prayed and asked the Lord to guide and direct us as we move to find a leader. With divine direction from the Holy Spirit in May 2005 we, The St. Luke Baptist Church accepted as our leader and guide Pastor/Teacher John E. Bowden.
Our Pastor/Teacher has been instrumental in teaching the Word of God with truth, clarity and understanding. With “The Vision” that God has given him, the Lord has truly opened up the windows of heaven and poured out so many wonderful blessings.
Under Pastor Bowden’s leadership, Saint Luke has experienced tremendous growth, to date in excess of Seventy Nine New Members have been added to the Church, which includes Candidates for Baptism, Rededication and first time Members. Several new features have been added like The Church Logo, Letterhead and Envelopes, Church Bulletins and a New Order of Service for the Worship Hour. New Ministries have been implemented, i.e. The Evangelism/ Intake Process, The Prayer Warriors Ministry, The Over Comer’s Ministry, The Young Adult Choir, The New Hospitality Committee and The Communication Ministry which includes The Connected to the Vine Newsletter. A Monthly Deacon Class has been added and The Male Chorus has been Re-Organized, not to forget The Monthly Health, Youth and Financial Tips.
In addition to all of the spiritual blessings the Lord has also shown us favor with material blessings including the renovation of the Church Foyer, New Ceiling and Lights, New Central Air Conditioner Motor, the purchase of a New Computer System, A New Xerox Copier and Printer and A New High Tech Sound System which will enable us to extend our Communication Ministry to offering CD’s.
We thank and praise God for all the many blessings he has bestowed upon this church family. We look forward to many more great things in the future as our Pastor is directed and guided by the Holy Spirit.
“LOOK WHERE GOD HAS BROUGHT US FROM; JUST CONTINUE TO PRAY AND SEE WHERE HE WILL LEAD US!!!”
We thank God for each of you, for your prayers, strength and support of this church. Continue to pray for us as we strive to learn and walk in the perfect will of God.
Yours in Christian love,
Rev. John E. Bowden, Pastor/Teacher