Our History

A Short History of St. Luke’s Church

The first Anglican Prayer Book services held in what is now Vancouver, Washington, were conducted at Fort Vancouver by Chief Factor John McLoughlin, Chief Trader James Douglas, and by lay readers in 1825. The Reverend Herbert Beaver, the Anglican Church’s first clergyman in the Pacific Northwest, served as Chaplain to the Hudson’s Bay Company at Fort Vancouver from 1836-1838.

The first clergy of the Episcopal Church (USA) in the territory, the Rev. Michael Fackler, began a brief period of duty as Post Chaplain of Vancouver Barracks on May 28th, 1850. The Reverend John D. McCarty, D.D. served as Post Chaplain of the Fourth United States Infantry stationed at Fort Vancouver beginning January, 1853. By 1857, worship in Vancouver’s first Episcopal Church was conducted by Dr. McCarty in a schoolhouse located on the south side of East Fifth and West Reserve Streets. St. Luke’s first church was consecrated by the Right Reverend Thomas Fielding Scott, first Episcopal Bishop of the Washington and Oregon Territories, on Whitsunday, May 27, 1860.

The parish was incorporated in 1868 and a parish day school was opened in the following year. In 1879, St. Luke’s became the first self-supporting Episcopal Parish in the Washington and Oregon Territories. The first convocation of the Missionary District of Washington was held at St. Luke’s on August 24, 1881. At its conclusion, the first Ordination took place when E.F. Miles, M.D. was made a Deacon by the Right Reverend John Adams Paddock, on August 28, 1881.

In 1931, fire destroyed the second St. Luke’s Church building, which was located at Eighth and C Streets. The third St. Luke’s church building was erected at 426 East Fourth Plain Boulevard in 1932. By 1942, a parish hall was completed and in 1956 an educational wing was added.The fourth church to bear the name of the Beloved Physician was dedicated in Vancouver by the Right Reverend Stephen F. Baynes, Jr., on Advent Sunday, 1959.

History of Our Current Facility

  • 1932: Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament and adjacent hallways were built, with seating capacity for about 50 persons. This was the original worship space at the 426 East Fourth Plain Boulevard address. It is to the left as you enter the Nave.
  • 1942: The Parish Hall, Parish Hall Basement and upstairs apartment were added.
  • 1955: The education wing, connecting hallways, kitchen and library were built and put into service.
  • 1959: The Nave (worship space), organ, Narthex (entry area) and choir loft are built. Seating capacity is currently about 338 persons.
  • 2014: The narthex was expanded to the west providing more space for ingathering and the choir loft was expanded to the east to accommodate a growing choir and music program.

Click here to visit a Wikipedia page with more St. Luke’s history