St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church - Long Beach, CA

stl history

July 17, 1946 The United Lutheran Church in America sent The Reverend Louis F. Mertz to Lakewood, a growing community north and east of Long Beach. His mission was the organization of a church.
December 1, 1946 The first formal worship service was held at the Lakewood Methodist Church on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 o'clock.


January 5, 1947 Sunday School met for the first time with Violet Lange as Superintendent.


April 1, 1947 A parsonage was purchased at 3806 San Anseline Avenue. It was used for worship, Sunday School and meetings. Pastor Mertz lived there for a short time during the years before the congregation built its first sanctuary .
May 15, 1947 Lakewood Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized at 7:00 PM at the American Legion Hall. Fifty-two people were charter members in the group of about one hundred people.


February 25,1948 Women of the Church was organized. The name of this organization was changed later to United Lutheran Church Women, later to Lutheran Church Women, then later to Women of the Word.

May 26,1948 Men's Brotherhood was organized.
September 29, 1948 The congregation purchased two acres of land for $10,000. Our present buildings are on this property.
October 16,1949 The Reverend Louis F. Mertz was officially installed as Pastor.
September 10, 1950 The fIrst building (sanctuary, parish hall, kitchen, office, and restrooms) was dedicated. Members of the congregation and their families gave gifts and memorials for the chancel furnishings and items of worship. Trinity Lutheran Church gave the organ, which was used continuously for worship services unti1 1970.
April 24, 1955 The education unit of three classrooms and a nursery was dedicated.
July 10, 1956 The name of Lakewood Lutheran Church was changed to St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church.
June 4,1961 Ground was broken for our present sanctuary. The building includes offices, classrooms, and a choir rehearsal room.
March 4, 1962 The present sanctuary was dedicated.
November 29, 1964 The Rev. Alden Thompson was installed as Associate Pastor. He served until 1966.
June 12, 1966 Pastor Mertz had accepted a call to be Chaplain at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. He preached a farewell sermon and was honored, with his wife, June, at an evening reception.
July, 1966 The Rev. Edward A. Sheldon arrived to become the second pastor of St. Luke's.
September, 1967-June, 1970 Fred Markussen, Peter Manfred, and Michael J. Rogers served a year each as interns.
April, 1970 Construction began for our fifteen rank pipe organ.
July , 1970 Pastor Sheldon resigned.
September 6, 1970 The Rev. Roger J. Magnuson arrived to become the third pastor at St. Luke's.
Summer, 1971  Seminary student Andy Garman served St. Luke's under Pastor Magnuson's supervision.
December, 1971 The first Christmas pageant, "Portraits of the Prince of Peace," was presented with our neighboring churches. Churches participating now are the Christian Reformed, St. Cornelius, St. Luke's, Truett Memorial Baptist, Calvary Chapel and University Baptist.
September, 1974 - August, 1977 Curt Jacobson, Michael Hamilton and Mark Winter served as interns.
May 15, 1977 Our Thirtieth Anniversary was celebrated with a luncheon following the worship service.
May 5, 1979 Members began volunteer remodeling and construction of the kitchen-restroom addition to the parish hall.
November, 1984 St. Luke's Christian Pre-school opened. Margaret Ingram was the first director. September, 1984 - May, 1985 Robert Hand served as intern.
Fall, 1985 Bob and Liz Hand started St. Luke's small group program.
Spring, 1986 New carpeting and pews were installed in the sanctuary.
September, 1988 Bob and Liz Hand were commissioned as missionaries to Cambodians in Long Beach.
April, 1988 Reverend Howard Allen began serving as St. Luke's Visitation Pastor.
Apri130, 1992 Pastor Magnuson retired.
May 1,1992 The Rev. Mary Todd-Pendergast was appointed to serve as Interim Pastor.
June 14,1992 St. Luke's adopted a new constitution and bylaws.
January, 1993 The first lay president and Executive Committee were elected.
June 12,1993 The Rev. Mary Todd-Pendergast become the fourth pastor at St. Luke's.
August, 1994 St. Luke's supported Owen Griffiths as he started study at Philadelphia Seminary.
September 18,1994 St. Luke's added a second worship service, a contemporary service.
November, 1994 Joseph Picard became St. Luke's Minister of Music.
May, 1997 St. Luke's celebrated its 50th anniversary.
September, 1997 - August, 2000 Karl Rist, David Schoeld and Paula Boat served as interns.
September 30, 2000 Pastor Mary Todd-Pendergast resigned.
October 15, 2000 The Reverend Sean M. Ewbank began serving as Interim Pastor.
January, 2002  The Reverand Erik Young began serving as Interim Pastor.

May 18, 2003  Pastor Garry F. Mohr was installed as St. Luke's called pastor.

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