Passionate People Powered by God...
In 1952, a small group of lay people from Central Avenue Methodist church felt called by God to organize a new congregation of believers on the far north side of the city. Without the support of the Bishop and Cabinet these lay persons started a congregation themselves. They rented the American Legion Hall in Broad Ripple, invited retired pastors and lay people to lead the services, recruited Sunday School teachers and started a worshipping community all on their own.
By March 1953 they had over 100 people worshipping together, and on March 8, 1953 St. Luke's Methodist Church was officially chartered. Rev. Bill Imler was appointed as the first pastor in June 1953.
In its 50+ years of existence, St. Luke's has had only five senior pastors (pictured R-L): Rev. Imler (1953-1959); Dr. Richard Hamilton (1959-1967), Dr. Carver McGriff (1967-1993); Dr. Kent Millard (1993-2011); and current Senior Pastor, Rev. Rob Fuquay, appointed September 2011.
When people ask how St. Luke's grew to become one of the largest United Methodist churches in the nation, the response is because God has provided passionate lay leaders and staff, and long-term, effective pastoral leadership. St. Luke's has stayed true to the passion of its visionary founding members: with God, all things are possible!
Miracle on 86th Street
By E. Carver McGriff
Published by Inkwater Press
Available at St. Luke's Oasis Bookstore
"It was only a country road with no idea of its destiny as a major thoroughfare running through the heart of Indianapolis. They were simply hardworking men and women looking for a new place to live out their faith. In the midst of the cornfields and woodlands a miracle was destined to take place. Because of their vision to see into the future, their passion to create for their families a new church in that "wild" land, and their tremendous faith to trust where God would lead, a miracle took place on what would eventually be known as 86th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana. That miracle is called St. Luke's United Methodist Church.
"Dr. Carver McGriff served as St. Luke's senior pastor for 26 years. Carver offers insights into the early history of St. Luke's, delves deeply into his own time, and brings us to the current life of St. Luke's. Carver's journey and the St. Luke's journey are inextricably linked. The story will appeal to St. Luke's members new and old as they relive favorite memories and learn about the behind-the-scenes workings of their church. Carver's open discussion of pastoral issues will be of interest to ministers as well, providing insight and letting pastors know that they are not alone in their struggles and joys. It is ultimately a story for anyone interested in how a community — through turmoil, joy, disagreement, change and celebration — created and continues to create miracles."
Passionate People Powered by God
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 1953-2003
View this pdf detailing the first 50 years in the life of St. Luke's.