the History of St. Luke AME
St. Luke was the fourth church organized in the North Georgia Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. This historical church was organized in 1866 by Rev. Beecher and Rev. Edwards, Pastors. In 1905 the construction of the second edifice was begun by Rev. S.G. Means and under his pastorate the church was completed in 1906. Rev. W. Boyd Lawrence was the presiding elder and the Right Reverend H.M. Turner, Bishop. The church was not only used for worship and spiritual fulfillment, but it hosted civic and educational activities for Cartersville and Bartow County. Summer Hill School (the only school in Cartersville for blacks) held many Baccalaureate services at St. Luke, and the Bartow County School for blacks also held graduation exercises at St. Luke. Many emancipation programs and NAACP meetings were held at St. Luke.
In the year of 1960, Rev. W.A. Williams recognized the need for a new building. Plans were made, but did not materialize under his administration. The Summer Hill area Urban Renewal Project was underway during this time, which partially accounted for the setback in building a new church. For some "known" and "unknown" reasons, the 1906 majestic edifice was condemned and the membership was informed that St. Luke could not rebuild a church on that property. The membership discovered later that this choice property was under scrutiny by another church denomination, which was to purchase the property and build a church where St. Luke's home had been for ninety-three years.
After the church building was demolished (which was a very sad time for the members), church services were held in the parsonage adjacent to the church. Then later the library, located on Guyton street that connected Jones and Mull streets became a temporary sanctuary for the members. It was the third pastor, Rev. G.C. Hoke, who labored faithfully to put words into action. Rev. Hoke led the way for the construction of the present day church. The present church represents the third structure of St. Luke A.M.E. Church. Unfortunately, Rev. Hoke died in a car accident and did not see his dream of a new church become a realization. Rev. K.N. Dunlap finished what Rev. Hoke started, and the members began worshipping in the lower unit of the church in 1965. The final note burning took place in November 1975, under the administration of the Rev. Norris Sagers assisted by Dr. W.D. Johnson. The corner stone was laid in 1974. The names that grace the cornerstone are: Trustees J.F. Anderson, Roy Baugh, Jas Younger, Lloyd Beasley, J.W. Dyer, R.C. Witt, David Williams; Stewards, Warren Ramsey, Jas W. Henderson, Joe N. Weems, Sr., Giles Haney, Luther Jackson, Wallace Johnson, Marie Morgan and G.C. Hoke, Pastor, D.W. Wiggs, P.E., E.L. Hickman, Bishop, and Rev. J.A. Clayton, Pastor.
The following Bishops and Elders have presided over St. Luke: Bishop T.M.D Ward, Bishop W.J. Gaines, Bishop H.M. Turner, Bishop Wilkes, Bishop E.L. Hickman, Bishop R.A. Hildebrand, Bishop Frederick Hilborn Talbot, Bishop John Hurst Adams, Bishop Frank C. Cummings; Presiding Elders: Rev. A.S. Jackson, Rev. A.J. Hensley, Rev. J.H. Hilson, Rev. U.P. Tolbert, Rev. C.L. Williams, Rev. J.A. Hadly, Rev. C.A. Wingfield, Rev. J.F. Moses, Rev. W. Boyd Lawrence, Rev. D.S. Sanders, Rev. W.B.L Clark, Rev. D.W. Wiggs, Rev. J.F. Booker, Rev. M.L. Hood, Rev. W.L. Scarborough, Rev. R. Morgan, Rev. C. Maddox, Rev. J.W. Sanford, Rev. S.W. Wicker, Bishop Williams DeVeaux, Presiding Elder, Rev. David Rhone, Bishop Preston Warren Williams II. Presently Presiding Elder Rev. Larry Hudson and Bishop Reginald Jackson.
St. Luke has been graciously blessed by other ministries who have all had a part in its history: Rev. Ellerson, Rev. Harris, Rev. J. McGhee, Rev. Mapp, Rev. J.H. Hilson, Rev. D.J. McGhee, Rev. E.D. Pardie, Rev. A. McGhee, Rev. J. Parks, Rev. J.L. Smith, Rev.S. Smith, Rev. Walker, Rev. E.A. Sheppard, Rev. J.B. Lofton, Rev. C.M. Mannin, Rev. A.S. Jackson, Rev. Yiezer, Rev. J.T. Belsaw, Rev. C. Milton, Rev. A.J. Miller, Rev. U.P. Upshaw, Rev. W.H. Mance, Rev. A.J. Wilkerson, Rev. J.D. Carnes, Rev. W.B. Lawrence, Rev. U.P. Tolbert, Rev. C.L. Williams, Rev. J.D. Upton, Rev. W.O. Slade, Rev. L.R. Parker, Rev. J.R. Talioferro, Rev. J.K. Davis, Rev. E.N. Martin, Rev. R.E. Romans, Rev. J.E. Roberts, Rev. C.L. Harris, Rev. C.C. Ealey, Rev. S. Miller, Rev. F.B. Wright, Rev. G.S. Hardeman, Rev. T.M. Alexander, Rev. G. Roberts, Rev. Howard Shaw, Rev. Aquilla Brewster, Rev. Green, Rev. T.R. Morgan, Rev. Huff, Rev. Archibald, Rev. Henry H. Kenner, Rev. James A. Clayton, Rev. Lawrence Williams, Rev. James Clayton, Rev. Ellis Washington, Rev. Cornelius Scott, Rev. Elliot Lyons, Rev. Phillip Bannamon, Rev. Jai S. Haithco, Sr., Rev. Daryl Porter, Rev. Charles Ramsey, Rev. Dr. Lugenia Johnson, Rev. Dr. Cynthia McDonald, and presently Rev. Sharon Adair-Harden.
St. Luke A.M.E. Church thrives and prospers as it carries on its legacy and the doctrine of the African Methodist Episcopal Church motto, "God Our Father, Christ Our Redeemer, Holy Spirit Our Comforter, Humankind Our Family".