How It All Began

Our story- it all started with SHOES.


Like many other churches, St. Luke’s was built by the hard work of its parishioners. Way back in the early years, Thomas Marsh, Thornton Gill, and John Ashton were among the early parishioners who saw the need for a new church.  John was tired of packing up a lunch and toting the family over a mile in order to worship at a church way over there, on Pawtucket Avenue.  Besides, it seemed that no matter how early they left, they never could get a good seat.  The Ashtons decided to have a few of the Fairlawn neighbors over to their home for a quick prayer service, where the idea of establishing a new church was hatched.  John stressed the fact that they would be saving money on the wear and tear of their shoes, and they would be worshiping in a church with less crowded conditions.  

John was quite convincing and St. Faith’s Mission was born.  The group met in the local school and parishioners’ homes, and they grew in numbers.  It was now the middle of the roaring twenties, after World War I, and a time when anything seemed possible. They decided to buy some land to build a church and pulled on their work boots.  As John Ashton said earlier, they would save money on shoes. They built a church.

Shortly after the church was built, the stock market plummeted, and the depression took hold of the country.  The parishioners gathered together for prayer support and thanked God every day for saving money on shoes, as there was precious little to go around, much less to buy a new pair.

During the war years, in the forties, the church rallied to serve meals to the poor and distributed food to their neighbors in need.  They celebrated when the war ended.

The next years brought lots of activities to St. Luke’s.  The members visited the aged and the sick, bringing comfort and food.  They raised money for repairs, choir robes, silverware and anything else to improve the community of St. Luke’s.  With all of their good works, they were going through shoes like crazy!  

It was not all work. In addition to working hard, they gathered to play cards and dominos.  They danced. They even gathered at the bowling alley in the church basement. Again they needed new shoes…..bowling shoes!

St. Luke’s has persevered through good times and bad. We continue to meet, worship, share, and feed others- spiritually and with our Food Closet and Community Meals.  Once again, like years ago,­ when a mile seemed so far away,­ change is happening all around us.  As in years past, we are always pulling on our work shoes and making things happen. Come join us!