Like most churches, today’s St. Luke’s United Methodist Church has been established over many, many years. Dating back to 1959, regular activity and growth has brought us to where we are today:
In 1959, Mrs. Greenberry Ragan gave 7.2 acres on the northwest corner of James A. Reed and Bannister Roads as the site for a new Methodist Church.
After a survey of the area, on the second Sunday of July, 1960, 22 people met with Pastor Dr. Robert M. Lehew, in Truman School. By Christmas of that year, St. Luke’s was chartered with about 100 members.
On March 1, 1961 the contract was let for the first building, which consisted of the present Ragan Hall (which was the original sanctuary and fellowship hall), the kitchen and four classrooms. The cost was about $75,000 and the first services were held on this site on the first Sunday of September.
During 1966, six classrooms were added to the building at a cost of $35,000. The building became debt-free in October 1970.
On May 2, 1971 it was dedicated by Bishop Eugene M. Frank, Bishop of the Missouri Area. As part of the Service of Dedication, the fellowship hall was named Ragan Hall in honor of the Ragan family.
Three months later ground was broken for the sanctuary wing and on July 16, 1972 the first services were held with the Service of Consecration being conducted on July 23, by Bishop Frank. The cost of the sanctuary and the office wing was, with furnishings, about $565,000.
The undercroft (basement) was completed in 1975 at a cost of about $55,000. The expansion of the parking lot was completed in the fall of 1978.
In the fall of 1985, a storage shed was constructed on the western edge of the parking lot. Through renovation, space was created for offices for the Associate Pastor, the Director of Education, and the Youth Director. The secretary’s office was expanded and new carpeting was installed in the narthex, offices and undercroft and all of these areas were painted.
A Dedication and Mortgage burning Ceremony was held October 25, 1987 with the Bishop W. T. Handy, Jr. presiding, along with the Rev. Mr. Cecil Neal, District Superintendent.
Ground breaking for a building expansion was held on July 14, 1991. It included a chapel, a parlor, six classrooms, a youth area, a new kitchen, an expanded Ragan Hall and additional office space. The expansion was consecrated in worship on July 12, 1992. The cost was $1,000,000. In November 2000 the Joan Ramsey Memorial Courtyard was completed.
The church has owned three parsonages during its existence. The first was built in 1966. The second home was purchased in 1983 and sold in 2000. In 2001 we built a 4-bedroom home in Raytown for the senior pastor.
The vitality of this congregation comes from the willingness of individuals to exert themselves to share the good news of Jesus with others, and to reach out and bring their friends, neighbors and loved ones into the St. Luke’s family.