St. Luke’s History

The first Episcopal service in San Benito County was held in an upper room above a downtown store in 1876.  Episcopalians continued to gather to worship informally for 18 years, formalizing their mission and naming it “St. Luke’s” in 1884.  In 1899 land on the corner of Monterey and Seventh Streets was purchased, and in 1903 St. Luke’s historic redwood chapel was completed.  St. Luke’s has always displayed a love for children, with members travelling to remote parts of South County to offer Sunday School services in the early years, and a deep commitment to the community: in recent memory St. Luke’s was instrumental in the founding of the Community Food Bank and Emmaus House Domestic Violence Shelter.  This poem written by Dorothy Flint for the 75th Anniversary in 1951 displays much of the pioneer spirit and sense of call which still characterizes St. Luke’s today:

But As Yesterday
A mission had its small beginnings here,
Its field a town so lately but a field
That none could know the richness of its yield;
Yet two or three had heard a summons clear,
And others turned with joy to ways once dear
Or put to use a talent long concealed–
Or, stricken, sought a buckler and a shield
To guard them well against a boding fear.
Those days are gone: the struggling mission grew
In spite of season often poor and lean
Or richer years with willing workers few;
A parish now surveys the changing scene
And hears the age-old challenge sound anew
To teach what love of God and man must mean.

St. Luke’s Today

Today St. Luke’s is a vibrant, family-oriented church whose members care for one another and reach out into the community to offer a warm, inclusive welcome to everyone.  Members are encouraged to think freely and deeply about matters of faith and life, to bring both heart and mind to worship.  One new member commented, “I was attracted to this parish because it encourages intellectual discourse and is not too dogmatic.”  Another remarked, “I found what I was looking for at St. Luke’s—Christians who practice what they preach, spiritual healing and growth, honest acceptance—nothing is put on.  This church is unpretentious and focused on actions and not rhetoric.”