150 Years of Service and Celebration
St. Luke's Episcopal Church, founded in 1868, is one of the oldest parishes in the Diocese of California. St. Luke's first home was in a building at 1625 Pacific Avenue. In 1884, this original wooden structure was placed on rollers and moved to the current location at Van Ness Boulevard and Clay Street.
During the next decade, church membership grew to be the largest on the Pacific coast and a new church was built. This magnificent church, designed by Albert Sutton, was constructed of brick covered in rough, blue-grey sandstone. It was consecrated in 1900 and seated close to a thousand people. This building was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
Determined to stay a part of the neighborhood community, the vestry retained Benjamin Geer McDougall as architect for the current French Gothic building, built in 1910. The worship experience is enhanced by the building’s spectacular stained-glass windows. The altar window of the Resurrection was installed in 1911. The stained-glass windows on the north and south walls of the nave depict the Virgin Mary, various Saints, and Biblical scenes. six stained-glass windows commissioned in 1919 commemorate St. Luke's involvement with the American relief effort for the French wounded in World War I.
Today, St. Luke's is a beautiful and gracious space for worship. However, as former Rector Spencer Rice stated, "St. Luke's is not just a building in which to worship, it is a place to join a community and find a reflection of our humanity." We are grateful to build on the legacy of faith, hope, and charity manifest in the stone, wood, steel, and glass that generations of past parishioners have built.