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History

History

Ada was established in July of 1891, and early in its settlement, several Episcopal families moved into the area. The roots of St. Luke's are in the organization of a guild for Episcopal women who began meeting in about 1910. In that same year, communicants petitioned the bishop for regular services by a visiting priest in Ada. Building began on the first church, a small frame structure, in 1913. The mission of St. Luke's was formally organized on April 10, 1915.

The Reverend Franklin Davis was appointed as the first resident priest for St. Luke's mission in February, 1917. He served until 1920 when he was appointed Archdeacon of Central Oklahoma. St. Luke's had a series of priests until 1930 when the Reverend Samuel Peard was appointed. During his tenure (1930-1933), St. Luke's attained parish status and grew quickly. By the late 1930s, St. Luke's had outgrown its first church.

In 1939 the cornerstone was laid for the present church building. The church proper, and other later additions were built of native limestone quarried near Ada. The architectural design is reputed to have been modeled after designs attributed to Sir. Christopher Wren. As St. Luke's grew and expanded, additional space was needed.

The first Parish Hall was a renovated Air Force barracks. In 1951 the rectory was built. In 1961 the Christian Education building (Blake Hall) was added to the facilities.

The Reverend John Ashby came to St. Luke's in 1959 as rector, and after twenty-two years of faithful ministry, was called to become the Bishop of the Diocese of Western Kansas. In 1981 the Reverend Kenneth Armstrong was called as rector and served until the spring of 1991. Following Father Armstrong's ministry was the Reverend Dr. Dean Lierle (1992-1995) and the current rector, the Reverend John Norvell who came to St. Luke's in February of 1995.

Today, St. Luke's is generally recognized as a jewel of church architecture, certainly one of the most aesthetically pleasing churches in the diocese, and indeed, in the entire region. But not to be neglected at St. Luke's are vital outreach ministries that continue to grow in and benefit the Ada area. Providing food and other essentials for the needy through Matthew 25 Mission has made St. Luke's an open and inclusive community in difficult economic times. We have indeed been blessed, and we know it. This is but one more tangible way of serving the world in Christ's name.