St. Luke's United Methodist Church


St. Luke's United Methodist Church was organized in 1963 with Belmont Methodist Church serving as the sponsoring church. The Rev. Ernest Priddy, Jr. served as the pastor.

On March 3, 1963, the first worship service was held at the home of Mr. & Mrs. V.E. Pace in Longwood Acres with about 19 people in attendance. The group continued to meet in the homes of various members until several rooms were acquired to rent in a vacant house belonging to Mr. & Mrs. John Robins.

On March 31, 1963, approximately 60 people met for the first service at 4101 Fordham Road. This farm house served as the parsonage, as well as the gathering place for worship services and church school.

On May 19, 1963, St. Luke's was chartered with 41 members. On February 16, 1964, the ground breaking service for the new church building was held. On April 19, 1964, the cornerstone was laid, and on August 16, 1964, the congregation began utilizing the new facility.

In June, 1968, the Rev. William Pollock was appointed to serve St. Luke's. He remained at St. Luke's until June, 1972 when the Rev. Ray Jenkins was assigned to serve at St. Luke's.

In 1974, renovations and improvements were made to the existing church which included the nave of the church being remodeled. Carpeting was installed, cushioned pews replaced folding chairs, and eight stained glass windows were given as a memorial gift.

On April 27, 1975, ground breaking services were held to begin the wing which would house the church school and the fellowship hall. On September 21, 1975, classes were first held in the new addition.

In June, 1979, the Rev. John B. Peters began his nine year service to the ministry at St. Luke's. In 1980, a building program was begun to enlarge the current sanctuary. Transepts on each side of the sanctuary were built to increase the seating capacity to about 300. A bonding program of $79,000, a special matching grant from the English Foundation, and personal contributions from members and friends provided the financing for this building. On March 16, 1981, Dr. Harry Eaton, District Superintendent, spoke at the consecration of the new addition.

In 1982, St. Luke's began its MMO/Preschool program. After its initial start with only eight children, enrollment has now grown to approximately 210 students and 29 staff members.

On March 4, 1985, St. Luke's entered into a building program to expand our educational facilities. This project included nine new classrooms, a pastor's study, a complete basement, four restrooms, and the renovation of the old education wing.

In June, 1988, St. Luke's welcomed Rev. Alan G. Reifsnyder who served until June, 1992, when the Rev. John N. Vest was appointed to serve the congregation. In May, 1995, a financial program, Foundations For the Future, was initiated and established as a three-year plan to retire church indebtedness.

In June, 1996, the Rev. G. Thomas Brown, Jr. was appointed to serve St. Luke's.

In September of 1999, Dr. Franklin Gillis, Richmond District Superintendent, preached at a Service of Dedication and Celebration as we burned the mortgage on the education building and rejoiced in the completion of the Foundations For The Future Program.

In May of 2000 St. Luke's received a bequest from the estate of Earl and Lillian Brooks. The St. Luke's Endowment Committee was established and invested the Brooks Endowment Fund with the Virginia Conference Foundation.

In June, 2003, St. Luke's welcomed Rev. David W. Erickson, Jr. who served until June, 2005. In June, 2005, St. Luke's welcomed Teresa M.Keezel who served until June, 2011. In June, 2011, St. Luke's welcomed Rev. Lisa K. Sykes.