History

In 1927, Rev. J. F. Armour and a few devoted people were looking for a location to have prayer service.  A sinner by the name of Mr. George Hamel at 3021 Martindale Avenue offered his home for the meeting saying “perhaps it may help me”. On April 5, 1927, the church was officially organized with eleven members. Rev. J. F. Armour was the pastor and the church was called Hamel Grove.

In 1929, Rev. William F. Green became Pastor. The church relocated to 2306 Columbia Avenue and then to 23rd and Martindale. In 1930, Rev. S. W. Boaz served as pastor for several months before returning to New Bethel, his home church.  In 1932, Rev. E. D. Fuller became pastor.  He was a pianist and organized the choir.  Under his leadership the name of the church was changed to Greater St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, a name submitted by Sis. Ethel Hamel, the daughter-in-law of Mr. George Hamel.  Rev. Fuller resigned and Rev. Milton Jackson became the Pastor but was killed in a train accident.  That same year the church relocated to 21st and Yandes and Rev. O. C. Grooms was called as the Pastor.  Under Rev. Grooms’ leadership, the church relocated to 19th and Hovey Street and then to a “storefront” at 19th and Sheldon.

Rev. Grooms resigned in July of 1939 and Rev. Augustus Mansfield Hughes became the pastor.  On April 3, 1944, the “storefront” was paid off and in 1947 the church built a new edifice for a cost of $11,500.00.  The congregation flourished and a new facility was built at 1703 East 30th Street to accommodate the membership. On Sunday, December 30, 1973, the members marched from 19th and Sheldon to their new location.   Rev. Hughes passed away on July 22, 1978, and in November of 1978, Rev. James A. Patton, who was assistant pastor, was unanimously elected pastor.  In 1981, Rev. Patton resigned and Rev. Roger Ward, who was very young in the ministry, became the Interim Pastor.

In August, 1983, Rev. Curtis L. Vance of New Hope Baptist Church in Muncie, Indiana, was elected Pastor.  Under Pastor Vance’s leadership, the membership increased greatly.  The name was changed from Greater St. Luke to St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and the church was incorporated and an Executive and Trustee Board were organized and Rev. Vance appointed Rev. Maurice Womack, Sr.  as Assistant Pastor.  On April 16, 1995 (Easter Sunday), the church started an 8:00 a.m. Sunday service to accommodate the growing membership.  On the Second Sunday in September, 1996 a groundbreaking was held for the construction of a new multi-million dollar facility at 5325 East 30th Street.  On December 31, 1996, the building at 1703 East 30th Street was purchased by Victory Christian Center.  They took possession of the church in June of 1997 and St. Luke held their worship service at School 69 (located at 34th and Keystone Avenue) until the new facility was ready.  On Sunday, August 10, 1997, the members marched into their new edifice at 5325 East 30th Street.  The church held a mortgage burning service in December, 2010 and has continued to grow and thrive under Pastor Vance’s leadership.   St. Luke received a 501 c3 certification and has several ministries, including community outreach.  Pastor Vance has revealed his vision for a Family Life Center and the congregation is striving to make this vision a reality.