122 South California Avenue
The first Protestant Episcopal Church in the San Gabriel Valley was the Church of Our Saviour, established as a mission in 1868 in the community of San Gabriel. Twelve years after its founding, this church called the Rev. Archibald G.L. Trew from Anaheim to be its rector. When Dr. Trew asked the Bishop of California what the boundaries of his parish were, he was told it encompassed the entire valley! Filled with a strong missionary spirit, Dr. Trew soon began meeting with groups of Episcopalians in his far flung parish and organizing them into separate congregations. Through his efforts All Saints' Mission, Pasadena was established in February, 1883, and Ascension Mission, Sierra Madre was established in September, 1885.
The first decade for St. Luke's Mission was a difficult one. The economy of Southern California was depressed in the aftermath of the collapse of the great land boom of the 1880's, and financial support for the mission was not always readily available. Membership was small initially, and growth was hampered by the lack of population increase in Monrovia. In spite of these difficulties, the little congregation considered the purchase of a permanent location as early as 1897, and a building fund to accomplish this goal was started. By the end of the first decade, however, the struggle for survival proved too great. Regular services ended with the resignation of the Rev. Nelson Saunders in May, 1901.
1999 marked the return of one of St. Luke's own, as the Rev. Donald A. Armstrong accepted Father London's invitation to join the parish as associate rector in April. He has added much to the life of the parish with his own special gifts. Edward Murray submitted his resignation in May, and Dr. Karen Reinhard replaced him as organist/choirmaster. The exploration of the life and work of C.S. Lewis, begun in 1998 in observance of the centennial of his birth, continued in 1999 under the enthusiastic guidance of Father London.
The first year of the Twenty-first Century has brought more change and renewal. Patrick Hawkins became organist/choirmaster in March, succeeding Dr. Reinhard, and the renovation of a number of the stained glass windows in the sanctuary was begun in July and completed in September. Generous donations from members of the parish made the renovation possible and assured the safety of the windows for many years to come.
We stand on the threshold of a new century with gratitude for the lives of those who began St. Luke's, for those who have nurtured it during the years and given so much for our common life, and for those who remained steadfast in times of adversity as well as times of blessing. Our challenge is to match the vision and faithfulness of past generations with a firm commitment to the future and a faith that knows all will be well--all will finally be well.