T he first worship service of St. Luke United Methodist Church was held in September 1976 in Woodhill Shopping Center. Marion (Woody) W. Church, Jr. was the pastor. The name was chosen as a reminder that this congregation would be an agent of healing in a hurting world, as was Luke, the physician of the New Testament. There were 32 charter members and over 50 members by the end of 1977.

The first building, a multipurpose facility, was constructed on 6.4 acres at 141 Mount Tabor Road (Now 2351 Alumni Drive) in 1979. In 1985, G. Lindsey Davis was appointed senior pastor and in 1986 the new sanctuary was consecrated. Lindsey Davis became the Lexington District Superintendent and was later elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church. In 1990, the education building was built. Rev. Eugene Strange was appointed as senior pastor in 1995. Dr. Stephen L. Martyn was appointed senior pastor of St. Luke in 1999. Stephen Martyn later went on to become a Professor of Leadership and Spirituality at Asbury Theological Seminary. In 2004, Rev. Debbie Wallace-Padgett was appointed senior pastor of St. Luke. Aldersgate UMC joined with St. Luke in June 2009. In October 2010, the Life Center was dedicated. In July of 2012, Rev. Wallace-Padgett was elected a Bishop of the United Methodist Church and was assigned to the North Alabama Annual Conference. In September of 2012, Rev. Mark B. Girard was appointed as the sixth senior pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church and the church continues to grow in God’s grace. St. Luke launched a multicultural worship service on February 19, 2012. The service included scripture readings in languages representing Kenya, Senegal, the Congo, Bhutan, Nigeria and Ethiopia. We also launched a Swahili language missional community worship service on March 22, 2015. The purpose of this service is to connect with Swahili speaking diaspora in Lexington.

This brief look at the history of St. Luke serves as a reminder that God has a plan for this church. With God’s purpose as our vision, we can be a light for the community and an agent of healing in a hurting world.