Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church History
The Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church had its beginning in the year of 1873. Prior to the year of 1873, some very dedicated Christians held worship services on the corner across from the courthouse, where the "First Presbyterian Church" now sits; which in the earlier days, the church was known as the "The First Black Church." During that time several laymen of the Gospel traveled long journeys to carry out the work of the Lord.
The church struggled like most Blacks did during those hard times; yet, the church continued in the Word and dedication to spreading the Gospel. The ministers who were a part of the struggles were Reverend A. B. Baity, Reverend Henard Sowell, Reverend Allen Smith, Reverend Henry Ghilcrist, and Reverend Wilson. Along with these ministers, three deacons worked faithfully by their sides and through God's eyes they saw the need for improvement. The Deacon Feagn David, Chairman, Deacon David Jones, Co-Chairman, Deacon Robert Strawter, Deacon Lankford Cain, Sr., Deacon Fred Sloss, Sr., Deacon H.A. River, and Deacon Willie King Sr. A faithful and loyal secretary of the church for numerous years was Sister Mary Rivers -Watkins. She kept the records status in a great manner for numerous years.
We pause to salute the pioneers of this effort, put God in front and in spite of small financial gain were able to hold on, and push forward in Jesus' name.
The church now set on the corner of Elm and Jefferson Street under the name of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church. There were other leaders, such as Reverend M.C. Cosby, Reverend Cartwright, Reverend Walter Washington, and Reverend Moses P. Burks. Under the leadership of Reverend Burks, several improvements were made to the church. Reverend Burks served faithfully until God called him home.
In 1970, Reverend Willie Cameron from Kentucky was called to pastor St. Luke. Under the leadership of Reverend Cameron the church immediately began to progress. Church services were increased to every Sunday, instead of two Sundays a month; also the Lord blessed St. Luke with a new church building. God allowed many wonderful things to happen under Pastor Cameron's leadership. He served St. Luke for fourteen years. In November 1983, Pastor Cameron resigned as pastor due to failing health and became a member of St. Luke.
In December 1983, the church called as its pastor, Reverend Anthony Stewart, who also served as assistant pastor of St. Luke for five years under the leadership of Reverend Cameron. As Reverend Stewart was lead by the Holy Spirit a beginner's class was added to the Sunday school, the youth department has grown, four mothers and four trustees were added to the church existing boards and the St. Luke #4 Choir was added. In 1990, a new fellowship hall was built, dedicated to God and named in memory of the late Reverend Willie Cameron.
By August 2001, Pastor Stewart had moved on to other pastoral duties and the church completed it's selection for a new pastor. St Luke chose Minister Wesley D. David who was serving as an associated minister at Union Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama. Pastor David exhibits an extremely high quality of Christian leadership and a strong conviction in the word of God. He demonstrated a preaching, teaching ministry that emphasizes Christian service, our commitment to God and each other. He also presented and had the church pass By-Laws. This ensured business meetings, other matters relating to members of church are conducted decently and in order. He led by example and the intensity he places in expounding God's Word had produced spiritual growth throughout the church.
St. Luke was in need of renovation. In 2008, Pastor Wesley D. David along with the Deacon Board, Trustee Board and the St. Luke Church Family voted to start a major renovation. Our renovation included a new sanctuary, a vestibule, a sound room, a lady's lounge with restroom and a men's room. Our parking lot was paved and a drive thru car porch was added. Also being very special to the new addition and honoring our past, the beautiful antique bell dating back to the 1800s had been restored and mounted in our south side court yard. This bell was placed there in memory of our preceding Pastors and Deacons of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church. This bell was once traditionally rang by the deacons on Sunday to let the neighborhood know that it was time for Sunday School. It was also rang for all St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church member's home-going sevices signifying their final visit to the church.
In October, 2010 the Re-Dedication Ceremony of St Luke Missionary Baptist Church was held featuring the Round Island Creek Association Moderator as our guest speaker. Giving the blessings of GOD'S house, the newly renovated St Luke Missionary Baptist Church was occupied.
On December 15, 2013 after twelve years of dedicated service, Pastor Wesley David retired as pastor of St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church and Associate Minister Willie Green assumed Interim Pastor until a new shepherd was selected.
On July 24, 2014 St Luke members accepted Minister James Allen as Shepherd. Pastor Allen had the motivation and vision to see St Luke grow in membership. During his tenure we were once again blessed with new membership and youth. As God worked on our membership, he also blessed us with two associate ministers: Min. Theodore Breach and Min. Richard Harris. In keeping with the spirit of growth, Fred Sloss Jr answered the call for deaconship. Pastor Allen served honorably for a year until he decided to move on to other endeavors. At this time Minister Willie Green became Interim Pastor once again.
On June 28, 2017 St Luke accepted Minister Allen Reed as Shepherd and Pastor of st Luke MB Church. With this annoucement, we are excited and inspired to receive the Lord's blessings through Pastor Reed.