History of St. Lukes Lutheran Church
Newberry County, South Carolina

The First One Hundred Fifty Years 1828-1978

excerpts taken from information complied by John V. and Rebecca B. Pugh as the church prepared to celebrate their 150th anniversary.

St. Luke's Lutheran Church was built in 1845, remodeled in1883, renovated and additions made in 1915. A new church was built in 1955.

The Rev. John G. Schwartz was originally given credit for starting the church but the Rev. John D. Scheck actually began the church. Information found in the 1827 and 1828 minutes of the South Carolina Lutheran Synod and other supported facts from other reliable publications confirm that the Rev. John D. Scheck, did indeed, start this church.

On May 23, 1827, three years after the organization of the South Carolina Synod, the Rev. John D. Scheck was appointed as its first home Missionary (1827 Synod Minutes, p. 10). The Minutes of the South Carolina Lutheran Synod for 1827 which was held November 23-26 reveal several facts about the Rev. Mr. Scheck's missionary work (pp. 15-16). On Tuesday, July 3, 1827, he visited and preached to a very receptive group of individuals in the settlement of Peterbaugh. References (Holcomb, p. 46) show this location to have been in the Stoney Battery section of Newberry County, presently known as the Stoney Hill community. Also, it was reported at this meeting (p. 13) that the Rev. Mr. Scheck had organized two new congregations in the Newberry District and one in the Edgefield District since the last session of Synod.

At this same Synod Convention (1827) petitions were received from Stoney Battery, Newberry County. Although there is no record as to the contents of these letters it is reasonable to assume they dealt with the establishment of a church. While the initial beginning was probably on that July day in 1827, certainly 1828 was an organizational year for St. Luke's. During this time period a plain log building known as the Baptist Meeting House located on road No. SC-36-407, 1.5 miles southeast of the present location on property now owned by Mrs. Merle Quattlebaum Anderson was used for all church related activities. Evidently this building served all the people of the neighborhood for Sunday School and Prayer Meetings. By December 1828, the congregation had chosen Elders. According to Newberry County records on December 6, 1828, John Enlow deeded three acres of land to Frederick Schumpert and Henry Bedenbaugh, Elders, for the purpose of constructing a Lutheran Church. The first church building was probably started the following year and it should have been completed by 1830. The site of this structure was the same as the present location.

From the 1829 Synod minutes (p.6) it is recorded that a letter of petition was received from St. Luke's praying for ministerial services. In response to this request the Synod Committee engaged the Rev. John G. Schwartz of Charleston to serve four congregations in the Newberry District, one of which was St. Luke's. In the early part of 1831 while still serving the same four churches, he became the professor at the newly organized Theological Seminary in Pomaria; however, the Rev. Mr. Schwartz died in August of that year at the age of twenty-four.

During the 1831 Synod meeting (p.13), St. Luke's requested ministerial aid and the Rev. Jacob Moser was sent to serve one Sunday a month. The earliest available records of the congregation are dated February 2, 1832, as recorded by the Rev. Mr. Moser. There were 78 members and four Elders listed. (See Appendix IV) These four were chosen by ballot February 1, 1832. During the early years of the church, Elders were elected to serve on Council for two year terms by the male communing members of the congregation. On May 20th of that same year, the records show 54 communicants.

The first lay delegate from St. Luke's to a Synod Meeting was Levi Bedenbaugh who served November 17-21,1832 (p.4), and at that time he was a student at the Theological Seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of South Carolina and adjacent States. Mr. Bedenbaugh later graduated with the first class of this institution in 1835 to become one of the first Sons of the congregation.

In 1839 the Rev. William Berley became pastor of the church. As the congregation continued to grow, a new spacious frame building, 40' x 60', was erected in 1845 at the same location. It was built with a slave gallery and during the period from 1845 until slavery was abolished, St. Luke's had a membership of approximately 40 slaves. There were several outside doors, one of which was located on the west side of the building and which opened into a stairway leading to the gallery. It has been told that this entrance was affectionately called "Aunt Lucy's door" as she was one of the best known slave members. References indicate this sanctuary had family pews. Apparently the pews were grouped into sections which were designated for use by individual families. Outside, there were hitching racks for horses and mounting blocks for the ladies.

Under the successful ministry of the Rev. William Berley, that portion of the congregation residing in the northeastern end of the charge purchased material from the little church built in 1830 when it was torn down in 1845. They constructed a house of worship and organized a separate congregation in their midst which was called Colony Church.

The first cemetery, located adjacent to the present building, must have been started around 1845 as this is the earliest date which can be found on a marker. The cemetery across the highway in front of the present structure was established in the summer of 1888. For the years of 1847, 1848, and 1849 the minister's annual salary was $100.

During this time period the Communion wine was served from a common cup. From the personal diary of the Rev. Thaddeus S. Boinest who became pastor of St. Luke's on December 14, 1851, much is revealed about how the church functioned during the mid nineteenth century. Serving four congregations, the Rev. Mr. Boinest traveled from church to church normally spending one Sunday a month at each. About once every quarter he would arrive in the St. Luke's community late in the week and have services on Friday, Saturday, all day Sunday and sometimes on the following Monday. At this time he also baptized infants and confirmed new members. There was no set schedule for Communion, as on occasions it was administered both on Saturday and Sunday of the same week, while at other times several months elapsed.

In his diary, the Rev. Mr. Boinest also tells of how he ministered to the needs of the slave members. On some Sunday afternoons he would have a special sermon just for them. It is recorded that the Rev. Mr. Boinest received black members. He baptized their infants as well as their adults and on at least one occasion married a slave couple. Services were greatly affected by weather conditions, as is exemplified when on one occasion the sacrament of Holy Communion was postponed for one month due to rain.

When the Rev. Mr. Boinest was in the community, he would have meals and lodging with local members.
By 1853 the congregation had grown to approximately 156 members with six Elders, each serving two year terms. Also, on July 10th of that same year the Rev. Thaddeus S. Boinest who was the minister at St. Luke's organized Luther Chapel (Redeemer, Newberry).

While serving as pastor of St. Luke's for the third time, the Rev. William Berley organized Newville, now Grace Lutheran Church, Prosperity, S. C. in 1859.

At the meeting of Synod in 1869, (p. 24) the churches were grouped into pastorates, of which No. 12 consisted of St. Luke's, Colony and Newville (later the name changed to Grace). It was the responsibility of each pastorate to agree on securing a minister, the amount of his salary, a schedule for services, and to provide a parsonage. In the early years of the church, ministers furnished their own homes.

On February 19, 1871, the Rev. Jacob H. Hawkins was installed to serve the congregations of Pastorate No. 12. He resided in Frog Level (now Prosperity), as a parsonage had not yet been constructed. This man was born in 1828, and his parents were charter members of the congregation.

In 1875 the year the first parsonage was constructed which was located at the present site of the Tony Turner residence. The Rev. J. D. Bowles and his family were the first to reside here. For the first time in its history, St. Luke's hosted the annual Synod Convention which was held October 14th-19th.

In 1878 the church was fifty years old. At this time the Rev. J. D. Bowles was minister for Pastorate No. 12 which consisted of Colony and St. Luke's. All available membership records were for the Pastorate rather than the individual churches. The communicants for both congregations were 427 and for this year $25.30 was reported as contributions to the Synodical Funds, (p. 41)

A significant period in the life of the congregation was the 1880's. Dr. Jacob H. Hawkins served as pastor for the second time for the most of these years. (1882-1887). While at St. Luke's Dr. Hawkins was editor of the Lutheran Visitor, a twice monthly publication circulated primarily in the southeastern states. One phase of life as a country minister is exemplified in the Thursday, March 22, 1883 edition from the article entitled "The Editor Remembered" where Dr. Hawkins states:
We take pleasure in making public the fact that the St. Luke's Charge remembered their pastor. From some of our members we have received tokens of kind affection in the shape of fresh meat, sausage, lard, six fine hams, and other things for which we are truly thankful.

At the Council meeting on September 10, 1882, the question concerning repairs to the church building was discussed and councilmen were instrusted to contact their list of congregational members as to the amount of funds which could be given for this purpose and report the information at the October 7 meeting. A building committee was appointed by council on February 10,1883, and one month later on March 10 at 11:00 A.M., D. F. Clamp was awarded a contract to repair and remodel the church building which was constructed in 1845. At this time new weather boarding was installed except for the north end, the gallery removed, an entrance porch built, the chancel area changed, new pews added, and for the first time ever the building was painted both on the interior and exterior. The newly renovated church was dedicated on Sunday, October 14,1883. It was custom for the ladies and children to sit on one side of the sanctuary and the men on the other. This practice lingered on mostly with the older members until recent times.

At its meeting on July 14, 1883, Council agreed to withdraw connections with Colony and to stand alone. A letter was read at the Synod meeting (p. 33) the following November stating that "St. Luke's has withdrawn from Pastorate No. 12 and asks to employ its own pastor." St. Luke's was the first rural church in the South Carolina Synod to have the entire service of one pastor. During this time period auxiliaries of the church began to develop. Although an exact date of the establishment of the Children's Missionary Society is not available, it is recorded in the 1883 Synod Minutes (p. 37) that this organization contributed $7.50. Records (p. 37) show St. Luke's had an active Women's Missionary Society in 1885 which is the same year the organizing convention was held at Luther Chapel (now Redeemer, Newberry) for the South Carolina Synod. The Lutheran Church Men's organization had its initial beginning April 24, 1887, when on that Sunday afternoon the young men of St. Luke's met and established a Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) with twenty-three active members enrolled. Three months after a committee was appointed on April 25, 1885, to make arrangements to build a dining room and kitchen at the parsonage, this addition had been completed.

It was noted in the church records of the late 1800's that members involved in certain types of misconduct had to be represented before council and judged as to whether they could remain in the church with the privilege of full membership. If one had been involved in moral misconduct, he could expect a committee from council to visit for the purposes of ascertaining a true statement of facts concerning the case and of citing him for trial before council. At the trial, council members attempted to determine if the offender had truly repented, and if they felt he had, full membership privilege would be maintained; otherwise, the offender could be excommunicated from the church. Regardless of the decision, the results were announced to the congregation the following Sunday.

By 1896 the Sunday School attendance averaged about 55 or 60, and on August 11 and 12 of that year St. Luke's hosted the County Sunday School Convention. On April 26, 1896, the first Luther League was organized with twenty-three members. In its early years this auxiliary consisted of young people as well as adults. There was a Central Luther League of Newberry County composed of St. Philip's, Luther Chapel (Redeemer), Grace and St. Luke's.

A second Synod Convention was hosted by St. Luke's October 18-22, 1899. In those days when a major meeting was held at a church, the entire membership became involved. This occasion was no exception, as St. Luke's families provided lodging and food for many delegates.

By the turn of the century the confirmed membership had grown to 399, and contributions of $43.00 were made to the Synod, although the apportionment was $80.00. (1899, p. 41)

During the ministry of the Rev. S. P. Koon (1903-1912) a second parsonage (now the Tony Turner residence) was erected at the site of the first. The building of 1875 was sold to Dr. J. I. Bedenbaugh and Mr. Willie Bedenbaugh. Mrs. Amelia Mills purchased the kitchen and dining room section which had been added in 1885. Construction for this new parsonage was begun July 21,1906 and was completed about three months later. From the Record Book 1901-1938 it is quoted: "The new parsonage is a double story, eight room, smooth ceiled building valued at $1,500.00." The following year a telephone was installed. Although no records are available, it is believed that the first individual communion set was purchased during the Rev. Mr. Koon's ministry. While still serving St. Luke's in 1908, the Rev. S. P. Koon organized Silverstreet Lutheran Church. This was the fourth congregation to have been formed by an active St. Luke's pastor.

In 1914 with the leadership of the Rev. B. W. Cronk, a campaign was begun to raise funds to recover the sanctuary and erect a 30' x 40' Sunday School annex. In December of that year members began cutting timber from the church property which netted approximately 25,000 feet of lumber. The carpentry work was completed in the autumn of 1915. In this wing there was a primary room 12' x 22'. Also, there were nine separate classrooms divided by walls and curtains. This addition was designed with roll down panels so that it could be opened to become a part of the main sanctuary. With this renovation the church had a steeple for the first time in its history.

The 1915 minutes of the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society show this auxiliary met after the divine service on the third Sunday of each month with 15 members enrolled. This year the thank-offering was $10.00 and the total contributions were $53.00.

In the summer of 1916, slight changes were made to the chancel area and carpet was added for 82 cents per yard. During the winter of that same year and extending into 1917, two coats of paint were applied to the exterior and interior of the church as well as to the exterior of the parsonage at a cost of approximately $275.00. The church records show that $21.00 was paid for the purchase of a secretary's table and six chairs.

Many young men from St. Luke's were called into the military services during World War I. The church was sensitive to the needs of the servicemen and funds had been raised in the amount of $425.00 by March of 1918 to assist the soldiers. Also the young people's society provided some entertainment for those stationed in Greenville at Camp Sevier.

On November 14,1918, the South Carolina Synod became a part of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA). Prior to that time, beginning in 1886, the South Carolina Synod had been a member of the United Synod of the South. Through the years the governing body of the church was called the Council, but its members were known as Elders and Deacons. After this synod merger, the members became Councilmen; however, at St. Luke's the old terminology lingered on until the early 1930's.

Sometime during 1919 concrete steps were added to both the main sanctuary and Sunday School annex entrances.
In the early 1920's there were annual revival services commonly known as "Big Meetings". These services would begin on Sunday and extend through Tuesday evening.

About 1921 the organizational name for children under 14 years of age became the Light Brigade. This group was sponsored by the Women's Missionary Society.

In January 1924, the Chancel area was slightly renovated so as to accomodate a suite of furniture consisting of an altar, a pulpit, a lectern and two chairs which were used for the first time on Palm Sunday, April 24 of that year. Records show this furniture was purchased from L. H. Helms & Co., Waynesboro, Virginia at a cost of $250.00 f.o.b. and $27.50 for the freight.

Although Luther League had its beginning in 1896, the earliest available minutes of this organization are dated August 16, 1925. Approximately forty members were enrolled. It appears that the group met about twice a month on Sunday afternoons. Because of limited transportation in these years, this organization also helped meet the social needs of the young people.

It was during the ministry of the Rev. Julian B. Harmon that the congregation celebrated its centennial anniversary. This was an all day service held on Thursday, August 9, 1928.

The parsonage was recovered with heart pine wood shingles in the spring of 1929 at a cost of approximately $275.00.

The depression years were hard ones, and St. Luke's struggled diligently with her finances. There were many times in the 1930's and 40's that the budget could not be met in full.

In 1933 a Delco lighting system was installed. The system provided electricity for the church only and consisted of a generator and a one cylinder gasoline engine. It was used until the REA extended electric power into the community in 1938. This brought a convenient supply of electieity to both the church and parsonage.

In 1938 the Light Brigade became the Children of the Church. This organization met one Friday afternoon each month.

For the third time in her history, St. Luke's was called on to give of her young men for military service. The Rev. J. Virgil Long who became Pastor on February 1, 1937 tendered his resignation effective September 24, 1943, to serve his country as a Chaplain in the U. S. Army.

During the ministry of the Rev. C. E. Seastrunk (1944-50), an attempt was made to construct a new church building. Some funds were raised and blueprints drawn, but the plan never materialized. In this time period a double contribution system was used. Members were issued offering envelopes with two divisions so that contributions could be divided between local expenditures and synodical apportionments.

In 1947 cabinets were built, a new sink installed and the kitchen repainted at the parsonage for a cost of approximately $300.00. Also during this year a new Estey electric organ was purchased for $900.00.
A well was drilled, a new pump installed, and a brick well house built in the spring of 1948 for a total cost of $747.45.

From the council minutes of February 28,1948 "a motion was made and passed that the Charter for the Boy Scout Organization be renewed".

By the Last Will and Testament of the late Dr. John J. Dominick, the church received from his estate 78 acres of property on April 23, 1949.

For many years it was a custom to hold an annual public barbecue for the purpose of raising funds for special projects. The last of these was on July 27,1949. Also during this time period, homecoming services were held almost every year. In the summer of 1949, two large attic fans were installed in the sanctuary.

1950 - Dr. Thomas F. Suber began his ministry May 1,1951, serving as pastor most of this time period.

For the first time ever, in April of 1950, water was extended to the church through a pipeline from the parsonage well.

The division of the Women's Missionary Society into circles originated at a special meeting of this auxiliary on March 4, 1951. Shortly afterwards, two circles were established: The Rhoda Hawkins Circle which met on Sunday after the Worship Service and the Lula Hunter Circle which met on Saturday afternoons. In this same year (1951) major renovations were made to the parsonage which was erected in 1906. These repairs included a new roof, a gas heating system, the repainting of the exterior, and the refinishing of the interior. Although most of the labor was donated for this project, the total cost to the congregation was $3,779.42. Also, in this same year an amplifying system was installed in the sanctuary for $162.50.

At a meeting on November 18, 1951, the members of council formally discussed a future building program. On December 23 of that same year, J. P. Hawkins was elected treasurer of the building fund, and he ably served in this position throughout the construction of both a new sanctuary and parsonage. Early in the ministry of Dr. Suber, the pledge system of raising funds for the operation of the church was discontinued. Some form of a commitment system had existed for at least 100 years prior to this time. On October 21, 1952, a new Hammond organ was purchased from W. S. Rice and Son Music House, Columbia, S. C. for a total cost of $2,678.08. By March 28, 1953, this amount had been paid in full.

Under the capable leadership of Dr. Thomas F. Suber, the congregation had decided to proceed with the construction of a new church when $25,000.00 had been received into the building fund. Having met that goal, a Building Committee was appointed April 4r 1954. Eighteen days later a contract was given to Garvis M. Bradley to move the old church twelve feet east and twenty-five feet south to make room for the new structure. This was done the following May 3-8 at a cost of $800.00. Although some work had already begun, the Groundbreaking Ceremony took place on Sunday afternoon, June 13, 1954 . The bricklaying was begun on August 2, 1954, and the cornerstone was put into place at a special service on July 24, 1955. With the labors of many dedicated members skilled in various phases of building and the service of a local contractor, Carol Hipp, the third church in the history of the congregation was completed in September 1955 at a cost of approximately $84,000.00. Considering the many manhours contributed the total property value was $110,000.00.

The 44' x 108' solid brick, double floor building was constructed with a sanctuary having a seating capacity of 550, an assembly room, nine classrooms, a kitchen, and two restrooms. The long anticipated day arrived when Sunday School and Worship Services were held in the new building for the first time on Sunday, October 2, 1955. At 4:00 P.M. on that same Sunday afternoon, Miss Shirley Hawkins and Mr. Emory Hipp were united in Holy Matrimony. The sacrament of Holy Communion was administered the following Sunday. The pews which had been ordered from Southern Desk Co., Columbia, S. C. at a cost of $6,561.49 plus sales tax were not ready for the October services, but they were installed sometime the following December. Upon completion of the building there was only a $15,000.00 indebtedness. This mortgage was retired in July, 1958. The Service of Dedication was at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, April 21, 1957. (See Appendix V). The following May, Council authorized the installation of a public address system.

Having served the congregation well for 110 years, the second church which was built in 1845, renovated in 1883, and enlarged in 1915 was sold in the late fall of 1955 to T, P. Mills. The 1906 parsonage was vacated January 3, 1955, when Dr. and Mrs. Suber moved into their own home. This house was rented from April 1956 until it was sold at public auction on October 6,1962 to Eldred and Bernice H. Connelly. At the Church Council meeting on March 5, 1961, the Building Fund treasurer was authorized to have Hamm Furniture Co., Prosperity, S. C. cover the floors with tile in the educational department of the building at a cost of $1,140.00. Concrete walkways were constructed around the entire church building in 1961 for a cost of $1,625.80. The contractor was Redi-Mix Concrete Company, Saluda, S. C. On March 4, 1962, Dr. Thomas F. Suber submitted his resignation as Pastor of St. Luke's to be effective May 31, 1962, to enter into retirement. He remained Pastor Emeritus until his death on December 12, 1969. The congregation voted on May 20, 1962 to build a new parsonage. It was to be located between the 1906 parsonage and the church. This spacious eight room dwelling was completed in April 1963 at a cost of $18,630.07. The contractor was Olin Amick. It was dedicated in conjunction with the installation of the Rev. J. Hilton Roof on October 27, 1963.

In 1962 the United Lutheran Church in America merged with three other Lutheran bodies to form the Lutheran Church in America. The constituting convention for the South Carolina Synod was held September 24-25,1962. As a result of this action, the auxiliaries of the church changed names during the following years. The women of the church became the Lutheran Church Women (LCW), the men of the church became the Lutheran Church Men (LCM), and the youth of the church became the Youth Ministry; however, in August of 1978 this group became the Lutheran Church Youth (LCY).

After the retirement of Dr. Suber, the Rev. J. Hilton Roof became pastor on August 15, 1963. During his ministry several improvements were made to the church and parsonage. The Church Council at its meeting on January 5, 1964, authorized the purchase of new chancel furniture which was received later that year. In the spring of 1970 the entire church building was air conditioned by Kaminer Heating Co., Columbia, S. C. for $12,000.00. The heating system was replaced and air conditioning was added to the parsonage in the early summer of 1973 at a cost of $2,550.00. A new roof was installed on the church by Greenville Roofing Company in October 1975 at a cost of $3,875.00.

In the early 1970's, St. Luke's had the distinction of being the largest rural Lutheran Church in the South Carolina Synod.

At a meeting of council on September 6, 1970, a motion was passed establishing the Memorial Trust Fund.
The Church library had its beginning on March 25,1973, when the family of the late Dr. Thomas F. Suber presented his personal library to the congregation. The interior of the parsonage was repainted and some carpet was installed in December of 1977.

On Sunday, September 3, 1978, Council authorized the construction of a handicap entrance ramp to the front of the church building. This project was started the following Tuesday. Also, that same week the task of restoring the original beauty to the old cemetery of 1845 was undertaken by the J. B. Kiker Monument Service.

Having begun his ministry on January 1, 1978, the Rev. Henry N. Brandt had served the congregation only ten months when the 150th anniversary of the Church's organization was celebrated on October 18th and 22nd, 1978. He has demonstrated well his excellent leadership ability in coordinating a memorable program for this historic occasion.

Ministers from 1827-1978


  • While on a missionary tour during the summer of 1827, the Rev. Scheck came into the area presently served by St. Luke's. (1827 Synod Minutes, pp. 15-16 and Holcomb, p. 46). On Tuesday, July 3, 1827 he preached in the Peterbough settlement. In the history of St. Luke's that Dr. Jacob Hawkins published in 1883, Mr. Scheck is given credit for organizing St. Luke's in 1827.

JOHN G. SCHWARTZ 1829-1831

  • After teaching at the Charleston College and traveling in the northern states, the Rev. Schwartz returned to the Synod Convention in 1829 to resume his duties as a missionary (Lutheran Observer 1:7, p. 97-99). The Lutheran Missionary Society in Charleston engaged his services to serve as a missionary, and the Synod committee sent him to serve four churches: Bethlehem, St. Luke's, St. Matthew's and St. Mark's. This was in response to the petition from St. Luke's requesting ministerial services. (1829 Synod Minutes, p. 6).
  • As the church's first regular pastor, St. Luke's in 1830 petitioned that his services be continued with increased monetary support given to the society for this purpose. In 1830, Synod approved the beginning of the Seminary. ". . . at his own instigation he was permitted to return to his former congregations in Newberry District and receive students for the present year at his own residence." (Lutheran Observer 1:7, p. 99). Levi Bedenbaugh was one of his students. The Rev. Schwartz died August 26,1831 and is buried at Bethlehem Church Cemetery, Pomaria, S. C.

JACOB MOSER December 1831-1838

  • The Rev. Mr. Moser agreed to visit St. Luke's once a month in December 1831 after the Synod received a request for ministerial aid. In February 1832 he began keeping the first written records of the church.
  • In 1832 at the convention, Synod received a petition from St. Luke's "praying for the labors of the Rev. Mr. Moser. The committee recommended that he accede to their request." The Rev, Mr. Moser was one of the organizers of the South Carolina Synod in 1824.



  • St. Luke's contributed $3.25 to the synod according to Pastor Berley's report.


  • The Rev. Mr. Berley returned to St. Luke's for a second time. St. Luke's contributed to the synod each year. During his ministry, the second church building was erected in 1845, and Colony Church was organized in that same year.


  • The Rev. Mr. Berley became pastor for the third time when the Rev. Mr. Margart resigned. His charge consisted of St. Luke's and Luther Chapel (Redeemer), (1857 p. 26). In 1859 Mr. Berley organized Newville, Frog Level (now Grace, Prosperity).


  • St. Paul and St. Luke were together under the pastorate of the Rev. Mr. Harter.
1851 St. Luke's was vacant at the time of the synod convention.


Dec. 14, 1851-Oct. 15, 1854

  • The Rev. Mr. Boinest's first sermon at St. Luke's was preached on December 14, 1851 (1871, p. 30). He had just finished the seminary and received his license to preach. His charge included Bethlehem, St. Matthew's, St. Luke'sand Colony. Hisdiarygives the textof each sermon preached as well as many facts about his pastorate. He organized Luther Chapel (Redeemer, Newberry) on Sunday, July 10,1853. On Saturday, August 20, 1853 he revised the church membership roll (63 males and 93 females) and listed the elders for 1853 to serve for two years. (This book is a part of St. Luke's records still). He resigned from St. Luke's on Sunday, October 15, 1854 to devote more time to Luther Chapel (Bethlehem Church Records).

Feb 1862 - Nov. 13, 1870

  • According to his diary Mr. Boinest preached at St. Luke's on Sunday, February 9, 1862. On Sunday, March 30, of that same year he promised to preach at St. Luke's. His congregations consisted of St. Luke's, Bethlehem, and St. John's, He wrote in his diary on Sunday, November, 13,1862 that he preached his "valedictory" sermon at St. Luke's. In 1869, Synod grouped the churches into pastorates, to take effect at the November 1870 convention (held November 17-21, 1870).


  • The Rev. Mr. Margart was installed the third Sunday in May 1855. He resigned in 1856.

J. L. SMITHDEAL 1860-1862

  • The Rev. Mr. Smithdeal's congregations were Newville and St. Luke's. The convention for 1861 was held in January 1862, and Mr, Smithdeal reported $6.00 contributed to the Synod from St. Luke's.


Feb. 19, 1871-1872

  • The first (as of 1978) and only son of the congregation to serve as a regular pastor. Installed on February 19,1871 as minister for pastorate #12 (St. Luke's, Newville and Colony). On July 24, 1872 he left South Carolina to go to the Virginia Synod.

Feb. 1, 1882-Jan. 15, 1888

  • This son of the congregation returned to serve his home church a second time. As a writer possessed of rare gifts, he contributed to many periodicals, was author of a series of Catechisms, and was editor of the Lutheran Visitor for twenty years. While at St. Luke's this paper was printed in Newberry. Many articles about St. Luke's were printed including a history of the church that he read at the 1883 dedication. His accomplishments are: Remodeling and renovation of church (1883); dining room added (1885), St. Luke's Stands Alone. Some Council minutes during his pastorate are in the church library.

Jan. 1, 1895-July 16, 1895

  • For the third time Dr. Hawkins returned to the church in which he was baptized and confirmed and here he lived within one mile of the place of his birth. He was still editor of the Lutheran Visitor. He preached his last sermon on June 30,1895. His funeral service was held at St. Luke's. (Buried in Prosperity Cemetery). He is the only pastor who died while actively serving the congregation.


  • On September 10,1872, the church records were revised by the council and the Rev. Mr. Wingard, pastor. He confirmed members in 1873 and 1874.

JOHN D. BOWLES 1875-1881

  • The church records show that the Rev. Mr. Bowles confirmed 7 males and 1 female in 1875. His accomplishments are: The first parsonage was erected and St. Luke's hosted the synod convention (1875) during his ministry. His charge consisted of St. Luke's and Colony. Some minutes of council during his pastorate are on file in the St. Luke's library.

MONROE JACOB EPTING July 2, 1888-Jan. 1, 1895

  • The Rev. Mr. Epting served St. Luke's 4 months prior to accepting the call in July, 1888. On Sept. 6, 1894 he revised the church roll. Council consisted of six elders and six deacons. He resigned Sept. 8,1894 to take effect Jan. 1, 1895.

GEORGE STEELE BEARDEN July 16, 1895-Oct. 24, 1900

  • Called to supply St. Luke's in July after the death of her pastor, The Rev. Mr. Bearden took active charge of the church immediately after his ordination by the synod in October 1895 (1929, p. 104). He married Miss Katherine Luther at Grace Church, Prosperity, in 1895. While pastor he served other churches in supply services as well as being editor of a church paper, The St. Luke's Lutheran. He resigned October 13, 1900 to take effect at the Synod meeting the next week.


  • In January and February 1901, the Rev. Mr. Bedenbaugh, a son of the congregation had three funerals at St. Luke's. He signed the church records as "Rev. Z. W. Bedenbaugh, Supply."

HENRY JULIAN MATHIAS June 1, 1901-April 22, 1903

  • On July 28,1901 the Rev. Mr. Mathias was installed by the President of the Synod (p. 5). The congregational statistics for 1902 included an enrolled communicant membership of 399; this represented 117 resident families. (1902 Congregational statistics).


  • Supply Professor of Ancient Languages at Newberry College

SAMUEL PATRICK KOON Nov., 1903-Sept. 25, 1912

  • In 1903 he began to visit and perform ministerial services to the Silverstreet area. He organized the congregation in 1908. Since Silverstreet's congregation was mostly of members from St. Luke's, it has been called a child of the church. He resigned in 1908 to become President of Summerland, a woman's college, in Batesburg, S. C, sponsored by the Synod. His accomplishments are: parsonage built in 1906.

BENJAMIN WESLEY CRONK Nov. 1, 1913-June 24, 1917

  • The Sunday School Annex was added and renovations were made to the church during the Rev. Mr. Cronk's pastorate.
SUMMER, 1917, the Congregation was supplied by Dr. A. J. Bowers, Dr. R. A. Goodman (both at Newberry College) and the Rev. Mr. Cronk.

WILLIE HARDEE ROOF Aug. 5, 1917-March 31, 1922

  • The Rev. Mr. Roof came to St. Luke's from the Holston Synod. He transferred back to that area upon his resignation.

EDWIN H. SECKINGER July 1, 1922-Nov. 15, 1926

  • The Rev. Mr. Seckingerwas installed Nov. 26,1922 by the president of the Synod (p. 15). ACCOMPLISHMENTS: New altar furniture (1924), Church steeple repaired (1925).


Nov. 15, 1926-July, 1928 (supply)

  • Dr. Goodman was a professor of Bible, Philosophy and Greek at Newberry College from 1921-1957.

Nov., 1936-Jan., 1937 (supply)

JULIAN BACHMAN HARMON July 15, 1928-Oct. 31, 1936

  • The Rev. Mr. Harmon was pastor of St. Luke's as she celebrated the centennial anniversary. He received the D.D. degree from Newberry College in 1946. He died in 1958 and is buried in St. Luke's Cemetery.

JOHN VIRGIL LONG Feb. 1, 1937-Sept. 24, 1943

  • After being ordained in 1928 and having served St. Paul's, Gilbert, S, C. for nine years, the Rev. Mr. Long assumed his Ministerial duties at St. Luke's. Together he and his congregation weathered the beginning of World War II. He left St. Luke's to serve his country as an Army Chaplain, and for his military services he was awarded a Bronze Star. The Rev. Mr, Long retired from the active ministry in 1977, and he maintains a busy schedule doing supply work. He and Mrs. Long reside in Prosperity, S. C.

Sept. 24, 1943-Nov. 2, 1944

  • Supplied by students from the Seminary and Newberry College professors.

CHARLES ERNEST SEASTRUNK SR. Nov. 2, 1944-Nov. 26, 1950

  • The Rev. Mr. Seastrunk was ordained in 1930 and he came to St. Luke's from Ebenezer parish, Rincon, Georgia. He was active with the Boy Scout Organization while at St. Luke's. He retired in 1968 and departed this life on February 5, 1975. Mrs. Seastrunk now resides in Columbia.
Nov. 26, 1950-May 1, 1951 Synodical supplies

THOMAS FRANK SUBER, D.D. May 1, 1951-May 31, 1962

  • Dr. Suber was installed by the president of the Synod on July 1,1951. He will best be remembered by the leadership he gave the congregation during the construction of the present church building. Dr. Suber was Pastor Emeritus of St. Luke's from 1962 to 1969. He received the D.D. degree from Newberry College in 1947. He passed from this life in 1969 and is buried in St. Luke's church cemetery. Mrs. Suber continues to reside at Route #4, Newberry, South Carolina.

HARRY WEBER June 1, 1962-Aug. 15, 1963 (supply)

  • During this interium period, the Rev, Mr. Weber, chaplain and professor of Bible and Religious Education at Newberry College, ably served the congregation as supply pastor.

JOHN HILTON ROOF Aug. 15, 1963-June 15, 1977

  • The Rev. Mr. Roof came to St. Luke's from Corinth and St. Mark's, Prosperity. Serving St. Luke's more consecutive years than any other minister, Mr. Roof was pastor here for 13 years and 10 months. Several improvements to the church and parsonage were made, and during this time period many memorial gifts were given to the church. The Roof's daughter, Leah, was the first child born to the parsonage family in over fifty years. He and his family now reside at Route 3, Leesviile, South Carolina, where he is pastor of Cedar Grove Lutheran Church

JAMES VIRGIL ADDY June 15, 1977-Dec. 31, 1977 (supply)

  • The Rev. Mr, Addy retired after 39 years in the ministry of which 30 of these were spent as pastor of St. James Lutheran Church, Graniteville, South Carolina. He and Mrs. Addy now reside in Chapin, South Carolina.


  • The Rev. Mr. Brandt was installed on Sunday, February 19,1978, by the Rev. Paulwyn L. Boliek, D.D., secretary of the Lutheran Synod of South Carolina. A native of Walhalla, S. C, the Rev. Mr. Brandt is a graduate of Newberry College and the Southern Seminary. Ordained in 1954, he served Trinity-Good Hope Parish, Saluda (1954-56), Georgetown (1956-62), Supt. of Franke Home, Charleston (1962-65), and St. Michael's, Irmo (1965-77) prior to coming to St. Luke's. Pastor Brandt is married to the former Rose Smith of Saluda, S. C. They have three children: Paul, Tim, and Carol.
E. ARDEN HALLMAN, JR. is current pastor (2007)

The following have been listed as ministers prior to 1883. It appears that they were actually supply pastors, but records of their exact ministry are not available.

  • J. B. Anthony, Herman Aull, J. C. Hope, J. A. Sligh

Members Who Have Become Ministers

Bedenbaugh, Clyde Eugene - Ordained in 1954 (S.C. Synod); Served as pastor of Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Hollywood, Florida.
Bedenbaugh, Levi - Member of St. Luke's in 1832; member of the first class of the Theological Seminary in Lexington, S. C. (1835); ordained in 1836 (S. C. Synod); pastor in S. C. (1835-1839); in Georgia (1839-1874); deceased (c. 1879-1883).
Bedenbaugh, S. Wilson - Brother of Levi Bedenbaugh; ordained in 1854 (S. C. Synod); served pastorates in Georgia, Alabama, Florida; deceased (1879).
Bedenbaugh, Zaccheus Wright - Ordained in 1874 (S. C. Synod) and served churches in S. C; supplied St. Luke's in early 1901; buried in Prosperity Cemetery (1921).
Boozer, Benjamin Martin - Became a Methodist minister; deceased (1882).
Boozer, Cornelius Proileau - Son of George and Suzannah Lagrone Boozer who were members in 1832; ordained in 1871 (S. C. Synod) and served churches in S, C; one of the founders of Summerland College and first chairman of Summerland's Board of Trustees; deceased (1921).
Boozer, J. D. Minister who became a medical doctor.
Elmore, Elijah - Ordained in 1854 (S. C. Synod) and served churches in Georgia and Alabama; deceased (1877).
Elmore, J. S. (No records available).
Frick, Vernon A. - Adopted son; grew up in St. Peter's (Pineywood), Chapin, but was a member of St. Luke's when he entered the ministry; ordained in 1953 (S. C. Synod); pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Troutman, N. C.
Hawkins, Elijah - Member and elder of St. Luke's in 1832; licensed 1836 (S. C. Synod); ordained 1838 (N. C. Synod); pastor of churches in Virginia; uncle of Dr. Jacob Hawkins; deceased (1868).
Hawkins, I. P. Ordained 1881 (S. C. Synod); did most of his ministerial work in Virginia and Pennsylvania.
Hawkins, Jacob H., D.D. - Son of Peter W. and Mary Hawkins who were members in 1832; ordained in 1857 (S. C. Synod); North Carolina, granted D.D. degree in 1882; Newberry College granted S.T.D. in 1882; editor of Lutheran Visitor from 1874-1895; deceased (1895) while serving St. Luke's as pastor the third time, (see notes under pastors 1871-72, 82-88, 95).
Hawkins, Peter W. - Member in 1832; father of Jacob Hawkins; licensed to preach in 1842 (S. C. Synod).
Pugh, William Edward - Ordained in 1911 (S. C. Synod); pastor of churches in S. C. (1911-1913) and in Florida (1913-1960); deceased (1964).
Shealy, Joseph Alonzo, D.D. - Brother of P. E. Shealy; confirmed at St. Luke's but later transferred to Grace, Prosperity, S. C; ordained in 1916 (Va. Synod); deceased (1975).
Shealy, Perry Edgar - Brother of J. A. Shealy; confirmed at St. Luke's but transferred to Grace, Prosperity, S. C; ordained 1910 (Georgia-Alabama Synod); deceased (1967).
Shepherd (Sheppard), Stanmore R. - Member in 1832; ordained in 1841 (S. C. Synod); served churches in S. C. (1839-1852) and in Mississippi (1853-1871); deceased (1871)
Smith, Gerald Whitman - Ordained in 1970 (S. C. Synod); Served as associate pastor of Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, E. St. Paul, Minnesota.
Smith, Larry Wesle

Property Transactions (from the records of Newberry County Court House)

  • John Enlow to Frederick Shumpert and Henry Bedenbaugh, Elders. 3 acres for a Lutheran Church (site of all 3 churches). 6 December 1828. Book CC, page 20.
  • Jacob Hawkins to Colony, Newville and St. Luke's. 12% acres. 29 July 1872. Book SS, page 173.
  • Colony, Newville, and St. Luke's to A. Logan Wyse. 12% acres. 19 March 1875. Book 17, page 76.
  • Andrew Nichols to St. Luke's and Colony. 4% acres (site of 3 parsonages). Recorded 1 August, 1876. Book YY, page 440.
  • Colony Lutheran Church to St. Luke's. 4) 4 acres. 29 September, 1884. Book 2, page 476.
  • George W. Rankin to St. Luke's. 0.5 acre. 11 September, 1918. Book 24, page 44.
  • Mary M. Thomas to St. Luke's. 2.84 acres. About October 11, 1920. Book 109, page 399.
  • St. Luke's Church to J. O. Moore 0.5 acre. J. O. Moore to St. Luke's 1 acre (land exchange). 24 June 1926. Book 32, pages 38 and 39, 41.
  • St. Luke's signed right-of-way authority for REA 21 March, 1938. Book 45, page 207.
  • Fred and J. C. Cook to St. Luke's Church. 0.5 acre. 11 March 1944. Book 106, page 438.
  • Through the last will and testament of John Jacob Dominick, M.D. from his estate 65 acres and 13 acres (total 78 acres) to St. Luke's Church. 23 April, 1949. Book 9, pages 324-326.
  • St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church to N. V. and Lucille T. Boozer, 13 acres. 22 August, 1953. Book 61, page 455.
  • St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church to Lucille B. Boozer. 65 acres. 13 October, 1962. Book 83, page 50.
  • St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church to Eldred Connelly and et. al. 2.68 acres and building. 13 October, 1962. Book 80, page 579.
  • Fred Cook to St. Luke's 0.5 acre. 30 November, 1972. Book 112, page 84.

Physicians who were members of St. Luke's Lutheran Church

  • Dr. James Ira Bedenbaugh
  • Dr. Drayton Boozer
  • Dr. James J. Dominack
  • Dr. Dr. George Y. Hunter
  • Dr. T. Jeff Hunter
  • Dr. W. E. Lake
  • Dr. David Shepherd

1978 Church Council Members

  • J. P. Hawkins, Vice-Chairman
  • Thomas R. Mitchell, Secretary
  • Ellis Shealy, Congregational Treasurer
  • Bernard Boozer
  • Enoch Boozer
  • Joseph S. Boozer
  • Ronald Boozer
  • Michael Hawkins
  • John D. Hunter
  • Fred Kesler
  • Rufus Kitchen
  • Joe Kunkle
  • Charles Lake
  • James R. Lester
  • Bernard Nichols
  • J. W. Pitts


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