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St. Luke's Episcopal Church

Originally located at 3rd & Broomall Streets (1215 W. 3rd St.), Chester, PA
c. 1950 the church relocated to Highland Avenue & Conchester Highway.
The congregation has since merged with the "new" St. Martin's Episcopal Church when they relocated to Meetinghouse Rd. in Boothwyn, PA (1967).

From St. Luke's Eddystone's 40th Anniversary booklet, October 23, 1955:  "In January, 1948 St. Luke's Eddystone welcomed into its parish family members of St. Luke's, Chester."


Former Rectors  |  Church History  |   Membership Directory

If you have any information and or pictures that you would like to contribute about the history of this church, please forward it to john@oldchesterpa.com

Former Rectors The Rev. Thomas R. List (1870- September 1875)
The Rev. Geo. C. Moore (October 1875 - May 31, 1901)
The Rev. William H. Towle (September 1, 1901 - February 10, 1907)
- ? - (October 1907 - ?)

Church History A "History" from St. Luke's PE Church Directory, February 1912

Excerpts pertaining to the history of St. Luke's from "Chester (and its Vicinity), Delaware County in Pennsylvania - Published 1877 - John Hill Martin, Esq.

A "History" from St. Luke's PE Church Directory, February 1912:

St. Luke's Church was built in 1866.  The Rt. Rev. Wm. Bacon Stevens, D. D., Bishop of Pennsylvania, laid the cornerstone February 1st of that year, assisted by the Rev. Henry Brown, then Rector of St. Pauls Church, and by other clergymen.  The congregation began their worship in the building before its walls were plastered and before regular pews were obtained.   After May 8th, 1870, services were held both morning and evening by the Rev. Thomas R. List, then a student in the Divinity School of Philadelphia, and canonically acting as Lay Reader.  On June 19th, (upon his ordination to the Priesthood), he became the first Rector of the Parish.

Among those who heartily cooperated with him in this work were Major Jos. R. T. Coates, John Burrows McKeever, William Ward, Samuel Archibold, Samuel Eccles Jr., William R. Green, William A. Todd, and their families, also many of the ladies of St. Pauls Church.  The silver Communion service and plates for alms given at that time by Edward A. Price and wife are still in use; and the Lectern Bible given by F. Stanhope Hill and Mrs. Hannah Depui was used until All Saints Day, 1909 when it was replaced, after long service, by one given by Mrs. and Mrs. Wm. F. Giles in memory of their son William Francis Giles.

Mr. John Burrows McKeever died in 1874; and through the efforts of the Rev. Mr. Lint a stone Baptismal Font was placed in the church in memory of his loving labors and helpfulness.

In this year the Parish was admitted into the Diocesan Convention, Samuel Archibold and Wm. Ward being the first Lay Deputies.

In September 1875 the Rev. Mr. List accepted a call to the church of the Redemption Philadelphia, which charge he has held ever since.  We have a photograph of him in the Vestry Room as he then was in early manhood.  We also have one in the Rectory, as he now is, as a veteran in the Lord's service.  We also have a picture in the Church Parlor of our second Rector, the Rev. Mr. Moore, and should welcome one from our third rector, the Rev. Mr. Towle.  The labors of all three are known of the Lord, and remembered by loving communicants.

The Rev. Geo. C. Moore began his long and devoted ministry here in October 1875.  Through his efforts the pew rent system was changed to that of the voluntary or envelope method.  A mortgage upon the church and land was paid off during the first five years of his rectorate.  Among contributions towards this were two legacies, one of $350.00 from Charles Kenworthy in 1876, and the other of $200.00 from Miss Elizabeth Kerlin.

A very considerable number of the communicants were in the employ of Roach's Shipyard; and upon the reduction and final cessation of activity there, as well as in several other plants, a very large number of communicants and active workers moved away from Chester, entirely.  Among many discouragements, the Rev. Mr. Moore labored faithfully on, until he resigned on May 31st, 1901, after completing 25 years of continued service.  A brass Altar Book Rest given by members of St. Pauls Church and inscribed to him, during his pastorate, constantly reminds the present Rector of one whose prayerful ministrations have preceded him.

The Rev. William H. Towle became Rector September 1st, 1901 and remained till February 10, 1907.  During his rectorate many improvements were made, among them was gift of a Reredos for the Altar from Christ Church, Ridley Park, also a new Pulpit and new Lectern through the kindness of Mr. A. O. Deshong.  Four memorial windows were added, as follows: - one to Mrs. Annie Channing Childs by her son and daughter, Mr. S. C. Childs and Mrs. E. W. Bing; and one to Mrs. Adaline Baird Rees by the members of her family; one to Mr. James Paulley by his widow; and one to the memory of his mother Mrs. Adelia Towle, by her son, the Rector.   Three others, previously placed there, bear loving tribute to Mr. William A. Todd, Margaret Alice Harrop, and John C. Rigby, Jr.  To these names of those who have passed from the Church militant to the Church triumphant might be mentioned so many other who patiently labored for God and His Church, and whose names are written in the Book of Life.

The Present Rector took charge of the Parish in October, 1907.  A few months later we suffered the sad loss by death of the Rector's Warden, Mr. John Babe, whose wise counsel and generous cheerful heart were always of the greatest assistance to this Parish.

At the suggestion of the late and much lamented Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Alexander Mackay-Smith, D. D., and largely by his financial assistance and by the efforts of the congregation, and the contributions of friends, near and far, a handsome cement block Rectory has been built.  This gives a large Parish Parlor on the East side, which is found to be of excellent service in the various activities of the Church, while at the same time it secures a permanent and suitable home for a Rector for all time.

A pair of brass vases have been placed upon the Altar, in loving memory of Mr. and Mrs. M. S. Keel, by their children.  Mr. Keel was Secretary of the Vestry from 1872 to 1884, when he became Accounting Warden.  He was also very much interested in the Sunday School, and both of them were deeply devoted to the interests of the Parish until their deaths.

A handsome brass cross was also placed upon the Altar by Miss Emily J. Reed, a member of the Rector's household, in memory of her brother Geo. W. Reed, Easter, 1909.

The Rector expresses his grateful appreciation of the labors and interest of those whose names follow in the lists of Officers and Organizations, as well as of individual members; and he asks for their continued cooperation and prayers.

from Chester (and its Vicinity,) Delaware County in PA – Published 1877 – John Hill Martin, Esq.  fully indexed by John A. Bullock III., Graphic Details Publications

The Episcopalians have two churches – St. Paul’s and a new church called St. Luke’s, lately erected, and which was first opened for Divine service on Sunday, May 8, 1870. The church is situated on ground given by Mr. Ward, on the corner of Broomall and Third Streets, South Ward, and the Rev. F. R. List is the minister. In the Republican of June 27, 1873, it is stated that the Rev. Mr. List, pastor of St. Luke’s Church of this place, has been presented by some of his friends and fellow-students with a solid silver communion set for the sick.

The Delaware County Paper and Mail for Feb. 13, 1877, states:

A Move in the Right Direction. – On Sunday last the congregation of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in this city, voted upon the question whether or not the church should adopt the free pew and envelope contribution, and it was carried in the affirmative by an unanimous vote. The Rector, Rev. Mr. Moore, announced that on the first Sunday in Lent the pews would be free to all. We look upon this movement as one eminently proper to be made, and believe the congregation will never regret having adopted the system of voluntary contributions for the support of the church.

Chester (and its Vicinity,) Delaware County in PA – Published 1877 – John Hill Martin, Esq.
fully indexed by John A. Bullock III., Graphic Details Publications

2000, 2006 John A. Bullock III.

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This page last updated 02/24/07