History Of St Luke United Methodist Church


St. Luke UM Church

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In the year of 1912, two small African American congregations sought to purchase the same parcel of land located on Pine Street in the city of Cambridge Maryland. A small two story two room house was situated on the said lot. Century Methodist Episcopal Church and Rock Methodist Episcopal Church merged into one congregation under

the name of St Luke Methodist Episcopal Church. On November 16, 1916 renovations to enlarge the building were completed under the pastor ship of Reverend Shockley. The deed to the property was filed and recorded in the Dorchester County land records on March 8, 1917 under the name of St. Luke Methodist Episcopal Church. The pastoral leadership changed thirteen times between 1917 and 1945. The Church was completely renovated and a basement added. Construction was completed on August 16, 1948 under the leadership of Reverend R. E Hamilton. Reverend Thesdar Murray served as pastor from 1955 to 1976. It was during this interim that St Luke changed its affiliation to the United Methodist conference. Reverend Harvey G. Chase Jr. served as pastor from 1968 to 1976. Under his leadership the church acquired additional property for the construction of a small Educational center, parking lot, and remodeling of the sanctuary that included a new ceiling, paneling, lighting, carpet, pews, and pulpit furniture. Membership increased to two hundred and thirty. Reverend John Ringgold served for one year from 1976 to 1977. Reverend Roland Dennis served as pastor from 1977 to 1998. On February 26, 1987 the church was severely damaged by fire and water. The congregation decided to rebuild rather than repair the old building. The congregation was displaced for the next four years and was temporarily located at the Henry Funeral Home, and later at the Calvin Mowbray community building. On May 22, 1991, a 6.39 acre site was purchased which is the site of our current location. In April of 1993 approval was granted for phase one of the building program which was the Educational Center. Construction was completed in September of 1994. Reverend Dennis retired in 1998. Reverend Darlene Dixon served as pastor from July 1999 to June 30, 2003. The mortgage was paid in full in five years. In March of 2003, Planning began for the construction of phase two of the building program. In July of 2003, Reverend Yvonne Wallace- Penn began her service at St Luke. Approval of the plans for construction was granted by the conference Building and Location committee on July 11, 2005. Planning continued and was revised to include a Community center and kitchen in order to enhance and fully implement our ministries of service to the community of faith and the neighboring community. The Ground breaking ceremony was held on October 9, 2005 at 1:30PM. Construction began in February of 2006. Opening Day is scheduled for October 22, 2006. The cost of the new facility is 1.9 million dollars. Under the leadership of Rev. Penn, the building committee compiled a manual on “How to Build A Church” that has been recommended for publishing by the Annual conference and sought after by other churches in the process of building. St Luke is now a community oriented church with a focus and a goal to provide a facility for worship, programs for youth, community support and now senior housing. St. Luke has become the trend setter for the black church in Cambridge.