St. Luke History: A Caring Community Church
The St. Paul Mission Church was the first name given to the church in 1933. It was organized through the vision and help of the historic St. Paul Methodist Church which still stands in the Arts District of downtown Dallas. Rev. Nathan Pinkard designated as the first pastor in 1933. It said that Rev.Pinkard walked the streets of Spring Ave, Wahoo, and Baldwin with a hymnbook and a Bible asking neighbors to visit and become a part of the ministry of the little church that met in a nearby community gathering place. Through prayer and persistence, the church started to grow by caring for others and showing Christian love. The annual conference assigned Rev. Dale Hansboro as the pastor in 1935. Rev. Hansboro continued the struggle to bring a Methodist church to East Dallas.
In 1937 the Rev. M.L. Reed was selected to serve as the pastor. His tenure was the longest of all the pastors during the first 20 years. During his administration, the Mission Church progressed from a small storefront church to a small building built by the congregation. In 1941, a fire destroyed the building but not the determination of this committed group of Christian. They met at the home of Mr. and Mrs. W. B. McLewis until their church repaired. After several years of continued work a red brick structure at Wahoo and Spring Ave. was completed in1945. In the late 1950s, the name changed to St. Luke Methodist Church. While the congregation was still tiny in numbers, it was a solid Christian force in the community. Led by Rev. Glover Thomas, the vision was to build toward the future by assessing all possibilities for church growth in the community.
The 1960’s proved to be an exciting period in the life of the striving congregation. Under the leadership of Rev. J.R. Caruthers, St. Luke continued to serve the community. In 1965, the Lord sent his servant Dr. T.B. Echols as the 14th pastor of St. Luke. Dr. Echols soon realized the great potential God had provided to the church for growth. He noted that the lay persons were young, caring and involved. His ministry filled with dynamic community programs for children and youth utilizing lay members as Christian leaders.
On July 14, 1974, St. Luke held its first services at the R.L. Thornton Freeway location under the newly anointed leadership of newly appointed Pastor Zan Wesley Homles, Jr. He also added the word “Community” to our name to proclaim to the world that St. Luke Church would always work for our Lord Jesus Christ through community service. After 27 years of dedicated service to St. Luke church and the community, Pastor Holmes retired in 2002. Pastor Tyrone Gordon appointed as the senior pastor of St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in July 2002 and served until February 2012. St. Luke has completed a series of mission trips; Brazil in 2004, and to the continent of Africa to Zimbabwe and Zambia in 2005. St. Luke mission trips have included New Orleans, 2006; Africa 2007; Mississippi in 2008; Galveston 2009 and the Bahamas in 2010.
In 2007. St. Luke purchased the Youth and Children’s Center located just across the south parking lot to enhance the space available for activities for children and youth of the church. With the help of great Christian Church members and leaders, the mortgage on the main building was fully paid in February 2011.
St. Luke is the Mother Church to recently chartered The Village UMC, Desoto Texas, Rev. Derek Jacobs, lead pastor. The Rev. Dr. Henry L. Masters, Sr. was appointed pastor of St. Luke “Community” U.M.C. in July 2012 and retired June 2014. As Senior Pastor Dr. Henry Masters, Sr. revitalize the youth ministry and Disciple Bible study ministries.
In July 2014, Dr. Michael Bowie, Jr. appointed as Senior Pastor of St. Luke. The church continues to see great fruit under the direction of his leadership. St. Luke continues its mission to make disciples for Christ into the 21st century. St. Luke continues to give thanks to God and to follow the great commission: “Go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
St. Luke "Community" UMC Heritage Windows
Laura Jean Lacy is the artist behind the windows. A Washington, D.C. native, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from Southern University. Additional studies in the art include work at the Art Student’s League, New York, NY; Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA; Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX; and North Texas State University, Denton, TX. She has served in many professional capacities related to her field; a curator, museum docent, art instructor, artist consultant, education specialist, and Director of the Cultural Heritage Center. Jean is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She has also been honored to have her works in numerous group exhibits and one woman shows.
The Sanctuary of the St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church serves as a teaching center for both young and old. The 53 stained glass windows designed by artist Laura Jean Lacy represent the heritage, faith, and culture in the lives of African American men, women, and children. The Sanctuary is a worship center and religious art museum which celebrates our Biblical and African American heritage. St. Luke is a church that committed to teaching the vital relationship between our African heritage and our Biblical heritage. Our windows are a powerful and challenging witness to that commitment.
OUR BIBLICAL HERITAGE
The first seven windows to your above left as you face the pulpit from left to right depicts:
• Earth in chaos, a formless mass cloaked in darkness
• God made space separate the waters above from the waters below and called the space sky.
• The lands filled with seed-bearing plants and trees.
• God made the stars
• And the sun
• And the moon.
• And God created man in God’s image to be masters over all life.
The seven windows below on your left from left to right:
• Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
• The encounter with the serpent
• The hand of GOD intervenes with the man.
• Man and Serpent cursed.
• A man was pondering over the plight.
• Flaming sword guards the way to the tree of life.
• Animals remain in the garden after GOD banishes man.
OUR BIBLICAL HERITAGE
The seven windows to your above right from right to left:
• Abraham obeying GOD’s command of sacrificing a
• Ram instead of his son Isaac.
• As the great flood destroys the earth, Noah and his sons,
• Ham, Shem, and Japheth wait for the flood to end.
• The releasing of the raven after 40 days of rain.
• Moses was leading the people out of slavery.
• David is going about the business of the Father.
OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
The top back, left balcony, facing the street:
• Black soldiers were lighting the path in the night for slaves seeking freedom.
• The black woman was breaking the chains of slavery.
• The woman was quilting the architects of the culture.
• Sojourner Truth – the antislavery agitator, preacher, and lecturer.
• Mary McLeod Bethune – symbolizing education, founder of the Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, FL.
• Migrations scene to urban areas.
• Nativity scene in an urban setting.
• Continuation of the migration, “He Lives Through Us”.
• “Good News” elders leading the people into the world from the church.
OUR AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE
Freedom Marches – The top back, right balcony, facing the street:
• Crispus Attucks in the Boston Massacre on March 6, 1770.
• The Ethiopian Bishop is holding a Coptic Cross.
• Busing of Black Children to schools outside their neighborhood to achieve racial integration.
• “No Room at the Inn” serves as an analogy to the birth of Jesus.
• Rosa Parks, waiting to catch a bus where she will later arrest for refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man.
• Black Panthers founded by Hughey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver, Congress of Racial Equality, Student
Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. A group of young men who fought for equality.
• Malcolm X, founder of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU), who transformed himself intellectually from a preacher of racial hatred to an advocate of interracial and international
Behind Recording Booth in balcony:
A black hand clasping a white hand represents the union and connection of the Methodist Church.
Stairwell, left balcony:
• Rev. Zan W. Holmes, Jr. – Senior Pastor Emeritus
Stairwell, right balcony:
• Rev. T. B. Echols, Former Senior Pastor