St. Luke’s-on-the-Hill

By Bob McCleary

St. Luke’s began on May 15, 1960. The first church service was in Dixie Public School with a student minister, George Thompson. On September 25, 1960 Rev. E.A. Chester, retired, came as minister. In February 1961 a portable church was placed on a lot on Constitution Blvd. for use by the congregation. At this time St. Luke’s-on-the-Hill was constituted as a congregation of the Halton Presbytery in the Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada. In July 1963, Rev. Herb Breithaupt became the full time minister.

On April 9, 1967 a sod turning ceremony took place for a new building on the same lot as the portable church at 3101 Constitution Blvd. In early January 1968 the first worship service was held in the new building.

In June 1968 the Rev. Breithaupt left his position as minister but continued as a congregation member. In a different approach to ministry at the church, four ministers shared the duties with Rev. Arch McCurdy acting as co-ordinator. The others were Rev. Keith Wollard, worship, Rev. John McLaughlin, youth programs and Rev. Ron Arkwright, Christian Education. Each minister preached one Sunday a month. When Rev. McLaughlin left, Rev. Camilla LaRoughe served and when Rev. Arkwright left, Rev. Clarke replaced him.

St. Luke’s-on-the-HillIn July 1971 when only Rev. Wollard remained, Rev. Charles Lewis came and shared the duties. On September 1975, Rev. Martyn Sadler became the full time minister and served for five years.

In September 1980, Rev. Paul Morrow became the full time minister and served for ten years. For two years during this period, Mary Leard served as a diaconal minister responsible for Christian Education.

October 1990 to June 1991 Rev. Bev Johnston served as interim minister. From July 1991 to June 1992 Rev. Ella Taylor Walsh served as interim minister.

St. Luke’s Clown MinistryFrom July 1992 to August 2003, Rev. Cynthia Stretton served as full time minister. On May 25, 2003, in a majority vote by members of the congregation, a motion to disband as of August 31, 2003 was passed. On August 31, 2003, the final service was held followed by a large gathering for lunch and reminiscing with many laughs and many tears. On September 7, 2003 the congregation of St. Luke’s moved as a cohesive body to Applewood United Church to continue life with new friends.