We mark the beginning of the St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church in the year 1897. The 1897 deed was lost or destroyed. The Madison County records reveal that on the 3rd Day of May 1910, the property was re-deeded to the Trustees of the Missionary Baptist Church “St. Luke.” The transaction was made between the owner, James B. White, and the Trustees, believed to be Deacons, John Turner, John Martin and Alphonso Logan. God’s vision had been realized as the St. Luke journey began.
The first structure erected was a tiny wood frame building, furnished with rugged furniture. A wood burning stove that sat in the center of the sanctuary provided heat, and windows circulated fresh air. A Deacon would make his way to the church early on service days to ready the building for worship. Those members of days gone by were very spiritual and energetic, they came from miles around through fields and trails traveling by foot, riding horses, wagons or buggy’s. They were happy to gather in worship and fellowship.
St. Luke has been blessed
St. Luke has been blessed with Christ-like, devout pastors who were willing to give of themselves as they followed God’s will and led God’s people. They played a significant role in shaping St. Luke. The first Pastor was Reverend Gaston Davis. He was followed by the Reverend Ed Maple, the Reverend A. Gardner, the Reverend Newman Townsend, the Reverend Pete Matthews, the Reverend Riley Townsend, the Reverend Charlie Ross, the Reverend E. J. Stone and the Reverend T. C. Johnson.
The little wooden church
The little wooden church’s once a month service was changed to twice a month under the leadership of the Reverend Charlie Ross. An innovative renovation took place under the leadership of the Reverend E. J. Stone. According to members, Pastor Stone and Deacon Clifford Chunn laid a complete concrete block building around the original little wooden structure and then removed most of the older structure from within. This was done due to their inability to get a building permit from the city. Some parts of the original structure remain a part of the existing building to this day. Deacon Clifford Chunn is presently Chairman-Emeritus of the Deacons Board. The Reverend E. J. Stone was called to be with the Lord, April 1983.
The Reverend T. C. Johnson was called to lead St. Luke M.B. Church in January 1984. Under his leadership, the church developed plans that would allow expansion by acquiring additional properties. In 1994, the vision of expansion was realized with the purchase of property at 5307 Mastin Lake Road. The partially completed facility, former church home of the Free Methodist Church, was purchased in February 1994. Much of the renovation work was completed by the hands of St. Luke leaders and on the 30th Day of April 1995, the St. Luke congregation dedicated it’s new sanctuary and facility. On the 7th Day of May 1995, the congregation gathered for its First Sunday Morning Worship in the new facility. The Theme for the dedication was “To God Be The Glory.
Under the Hand of God
Under the Hand of God through the leadership of Pastor Johnson, the church has witnessed the most progressive increase in the history of its existence. The increase of members, the growth and addition of ministries along with the need to meet religious educational requirements and other variables was more than the existing structure could accommodate. Stepping out on faith, Pastor Johnson, officers and members voted to submit an offer to purchase property at 1800 Sparkman Drive, formerly the Calvary Baptist Church. The offer was accepted and finalized on January 15, 2002.
What started out over a century ago as a mustard seed has grown and is still growing by faith in God. We can see God at Work among us, His blessings giving the victory despite the odds or opposition. In commemoration of our many years of selfless, sacrificial service, we were led to further designate the Church to reflect its spirit of Love, Reconciliation and Restoration. In lieu of such, we shall hereafter be called, as we are, “St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church – At Calvary Ministries.” This designation, “At Calvary Ministries,” signifies the depth of our will to serve God.
Through the years, we have been ripped by any number of multifaceted attacks, but they only served to draw us closer in our bond of love and the fellowship of our unity. Understanding that “God is with us – Seeking to Save”, St. Luke stands as a place of reconciliation, restoration and love. She is a witness that the Word of God is true, “no weapon formed against us shall prosper and nothing shall be able to separate us from the love and grace of God.” St. Luke is blessed and her mission is to be a blessing.”