History and images have been compiled from various sources including, among others, the 1987 National Register of Historic Places, Stack & Beasley's 1902 Sketches of Monroe and Union County, Union County Public Library (Patricia Poland, Genealogy & Local History Librarian), the Heritage Room Photo Collection, North Carolina Map Collection, Rootsweb - An Ancestry.com Community and Ancestry.com family histories.

St. Luke's Lutheran 1890

Lutheran Church - 205 E. Jefferson
Photo from Stack & Beasley 1902
1896 St. Luke's Lutheran School
Image from church website

St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized August 4, 1889, in Monroe, North Carolina. The following excerpts of history are from the church website.

August 4, 1889 - After meeting in the old courthouse, the following officers were elected: Rev. J.F. Moser, Pastor, Chairman; A.H. Crowell, Elder; Building Committee: C.B. Sikes, Deacon; A.M. Crowell, Deacon; J.H. Boyte, Secretary, Treasurer, Supt. of Sunday School.

The property for St. Luke’s was donated by A.H. Crowell and wife (grandparents of Mrs. John C. Sikes). The deed is registered in Union County, book number 21, page 679. October 13, 1889 - St. Luke’s congregation decided to unite with Morning Star and Emanuel Lutheran Church in sending a delegate to Synod. C.B. Sikes was the elected delegate, A.H. Crowell alternate.

December 8, 1889 - REV. J.F. MOSER and C.B. Sikes were appointed to consult with W.J. Boylen regarding organ purchase/rental and music book purchase pending congregational approval.

The first brick for the church at 205 E. Jefferson Street was laid on May 22, 1890 by T.P. Moseo of Catawba County. The subscription on the part of the members of the church was $1,075. The citizens of Monroe subscribed about $350. Nearly $500 were subscribed by Lutherans outside of Monroe. Mr. A.M. Crowell sent out 1,000 two-cent post cards asking for the small amount of just 25 cents. The cards dated June 4, 1890, stated, “We are weak in number and in money, but strong in the faith that God wants his church here in Monroe.” Mr. C.W. Simpson loaned $1.000 to the congregations. The cornerstone was laid on June 4, 1890.

By 1891 eighteen members were listed on the communicants’ roll, seven confirmations. On August 26, 1891, a resolution to finish the church provided the conference assumed present debt was approved. $5.00 out of the church treasury, and $5.00 out of the Sunday school fund for mission work, was also approved.

"I was born March 2, 1891, so I guess that makes me the oldest living member of St. Luke’s. My parents moved to Monroe when I was a child and we lived across from St. Luke’s. I was confirmed April 8, 1906. I sang in the choir and remembered our first choir robes were made from sheets." - Pearl Young

From 1910 to 1948, pastors lived in the parsonage at 205 E. Jefferson St. next to the church. From 1948 to 1955, this parsonage was rented while the congregation provided another residence for the pastor.

"Katie, three children and I moved to Monroe in February 1948. I opened my office for the general practice of medicine March 8, 1948. We first attended St. Luke’s while PASTOR LINEBERGER was pastor. I remember the pulpit committee, which I believe, included Jennings Boger, Roy Curry, and Henry Adams, went to Raleigh to talk with Rev. CLARENCE NORMAN. He had been a missionary in Japan until hostilities of World War ll began, at which time he and his family moved back to the States. The committee reported that PASTOR NORMAN was an older man with poor vision and had had cataract surgery, but they were impressed by his knowledge and dignity. We were just a small congregation on mission status, but PASTOR NORMAN accepted our call October l5, 1949. When the Jefferson Street church was demolished, the pipe organ was dismantled by professionals and stored until it could be reassembled in the new unit on Circle Drive. The pews were bought by a small church in the county. The beautiful stained glass windows were removed and sold or given to those who wanted them. The church bell (that we are still using) was removed from the bell tower by church members. I came by as Dr. P.L. Barringer, George Taylor, Fred Summerlin, Tom Maness, and others were letting this bell down from the tower with pulleys and ropes—a risky, dangerous job! Over the years, James Benton and George Young have prepared many excellent meals for the Easter sunrise service breakfast, as well as for various other church functions." - Dr. G.G. Oleen

January 14, 1962 was the last Sunday the congregation met in the original building for the 11:00 a. m. service until completion of the new building on Circle Drive. St. Luke’s met at the Monroe Recreation Center on Main Street for Sunday school and the 11:00 a.m. service. On February 11 a ground breaking service was held at the Circle Drive site. A cornerstone ceremony was held on April 15. Articles placed in the cornerstone were: a Holy Bible, list of all members and Sunday School members, list of all officers of the congregation, brochure of the building fund program, church bulletins, parish letter, brief history of the building program, autographs of members and friends, local papers which contain articles about St. Luke’s Church, The Lutheran, The N. C. Lutheran, story of John Glenn—an American astronaut, United Lutheran Church Women of St. Luke’s Year Book, pictures of the groundbreaking service, and a note from Mayor Fred Wilson of the city of Monroe.

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