The History of Saint Luke’s

May 29, 1892: The first meeting was held to organize a Lutheran church in Summerville. To vote and to hold office in the church organization as it was constituted by the founders, one had to pay an annual fee of $8.

1893: The lot our chapel stands on was purchased, and a cornerstone was laid.  The original membership was composed mainly of members of the Lutheran churches of Charleston who had moved to Summerville.

September 19, 1920:  Church members bought and installed the stained glass windows that you can see now in the chapel.  Nine of these were memorials.  The windows were purchased from and installed by F. J. Cooledge & Sons of Atlanta, Georgia, at a cost of $1,365.  The other nine ranged from $175 to $40.

1928:  A Sunday School building and library were built.

1931: A Moller pipe organ was installed.

1952:  The parish building was built to help our congregation grow closer together through the study of God’s word and through fellowship.

1972:  The Fellowship Hall was constructed to meet the needs of a growing congregation.

In 1972, a Kindergarten program was started for four and five year old children. In 1979, three year old children were added.  A Mother’s Day Out program for three days a week was organized in 1978.  The Full Day Care Center was establish in 1982.

1987:  Ground was broken for the new church on Sunday, February 8, 1987. Construction began the next morning.  The new sanctuary was dedicated for use in December 1987.  The original 1931 Moller organ was moved into the new worship space.

1993:  Continued growth during the ensuing years necessitated the building of a new Education Building.  This building was dedicated for use in January 1993.  Since it’s completion it has become the primary home for several outreach ministries of St. Luke’s.

In 1995 the congregation voted to begin another new ministry.  The ARK (Adult Respite Care), a program to provide for the care of Alzheimer’s disease victims, was started in January of 1996 and has become a model for programs such as this throughout the state.  In 2012, the ARK changed its name to Alzheimer’s Family Support Services to reflect the broad range of services provided in the community.

In 2008, the Moller Organ was updated and moved back to its original home in St. Luke’s Chapel.

August 26, 2012:  The Schantz Organ was installed and dedicated in the current sanctuary.

2020: During the Covid 19 Pandemic, St. Luke’s was blessed with the opportunity to purchase an Allen organ console that not only offered more varieties of sounds and gave us a better functioning console, but married with our existing pipes perfectly.

May 9, 2021:  A deconsecration service was held over the the building that had served as St. Luke’s Fellowship Hall for 49 years. 

July 21, 2021: The Fellowship Hall was torn down to make room for our new Family Life Center. We watched with grief for the many years of ministry that our Fellowship Hall represented to our congregation, but we also watched with hope-filled wonder, looking forward to the generations of disciples whose faith will be formed on this holy ground. 

August 29, 2021:  We broke ground on our new Family Life Center, asking God’s blessing upon this holy space.

November 20, 2022: The Family Life Center was dedicated to the glory of God. 

To read more about the dreams that led us to our most recent building project, check out Dreams for The Future

To read more about the history of St. Luke’s in Summerville, SC, check out Celebrating 125 Years of Fellowship

Full-Time Pastors who have served St. Luke’s

Bernard Repass, 1913-15
W. A. Raiser, 1917-18
*George W. Nelson, 1921-26
Paul McCullough, 1927-28 and 1963-64
Voigt R. Cromer, 1929-1930
Waldemear H. Lefstead, 1931-50
J. Kenneth Webb, 1950-58
Dermon A. Sox, Sr., 1959-63
T. Parker Dominick, Jr., 1965-74
Hartmut Fege, 1975-82
Leon A. Rawl, 1983-94
Barry J. Harte, 1986-90
James P. Blalock, 1993-2006
Susan J. Briner, 2003-2012
Kara J. Stewart, 2008-2009
Stephen N. Troisi, 2009-2012
Andrea M. Rice, 2014 to present
Nathan J. Rice, 2014 to present

* During the years 1919-1920, St. Luke’s was under the guidance of Rev. A. J. Bowers and Mr. P. M. Counts, who was a Theological student from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

St. Luke’s has also served as an internship site for more than 30 seminary students.