History of St. Luke's Lutheran Church
Around the year 1830, Lutherans coming into the Marietta community met for worship in their homes and in the greenwood. They joined in the formation of St. Paul's Evangelical Church in 1839. They worshipped with this congregation until the year 1857, when they withdrew. In 1858 they organized the St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, and purchased the vacated first edifice of St. Luke's Episcopal Church at Fourth and Scammel. They worshiped in this building of Doric Greek architecture until the present Neo-Romanesque church edifice replaced it in 1901.
The congregation was small until the 1890's when the Reverend K.F. Thieme became pastor. He introduced the English language (prior to this services were held in German) into the church services and the Sunday School, and as a result, the membership increased considerably.
A new stone church building was constructed on the lot at the turn of the century, and was dedicated on December 15, 1901, during the pastorate of the Reverend W.E. Brinkman. The cost of the new edifice was $25,000.
The present building has had three major renovations. The first was in 1917, during the pastorate of the Reverend Robert Vorberg. It was at this time that the beautiful wood carving of the Lord's Supper was installed and placed above the altar. Alois Lang of Oberammergau, Germany did this woodcarving.
The second major remodeling was done in 1962, and included the refurbishment of the social room and Sunday School area. On April 19, 1988, the northeast corner of St. Luke's was heavily damaged by a fire attributed to arson. All the church records were lost, along with the library and files of the Reverend James Couts, who had been installed as pastor on the previous Sunday. Although damage was heavy, the priceless woodcarving above the altar remained intact and needed only cleaning to remove soot from the fire. Services were held in the social room while restoration work was completed on the church building.
In 1992 the Morgenstern-Renner addition to the church was dedicated. Using land to the north of the church, a two story addition was constructed which included a new church office complex, a small chapel, and Sunday school rooms. A match for the original stone was located, which made for a nearly seamless facade.
In 2000, extensive work was done on the church, which included a new roof, pointing and sealing of the stone, a remodeled and refurbished fellowship hall, and air-conditioning and re-painting of the sanctuary.
During the years following its organization in 1858, St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church grew and developed independently as a Lutheran congregation. In 1893 it united with other Lutheran congregations in the state of Ohio as members of the Miami North America Synod. This general body of the Church, following a succession of mergers, is now part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Beginning its synodical affiliation through an evangelical mission organized within the congregation, the ensuing years of the congregation's history have witnessed continuing growth in outreach of endeavor on behalf of evangelism and the world mission of the church.