St. Luke’s as it stands today came into being in 1872, making it one of the oldest buildings in Cleveland and a fixture of the downtown scenery. We were originally founded as a mission from St. Paul’s in Chattanooga under the name St. Alban’s in 1867 and met in the neighboring First Presbyterian Church. The current building was establshed by John Craigmiles, a member at St. Alban’s, in memory of his seven-year-old daughter Nina, who died on St. Luke’s Day, 1871, when her carriage collided with a passing train. Along with the Church, the family had a marble mausoleum constructed on-site to house the remains of Nina and the rest of the family. One of our most beloved Easter traditions involves opening the mausoleum up to visitors as a witness to Christ’s open tomb and a reminder that we look forward to the resurrection of the dead at the last day. Over the years, our campus has grown to encompass the city block surrounding the original building, adding both a parish house with rooms for hosting classes, offices, and choir rehearsals, and a parish hall with space for parish-wide dinners and events.
As our campus has grown and evolved over the years, so too have the people who call it home. If you visited us today, you would encounter people from diverse backgrounds coming together as a single body. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 and the inclusion of online worship, we have been blessed to welcome new members to the St. Luke’s family from cities across the U.S. and even some who participate in our communal life from overseas. We see this age of expanding circles as a remarkable opportunity to invite more and more people to share in the love of Christ with us and are excited for whatever this new future may bring.
Building and Grounds
We are blessed to be stewards of St. Luke’s Memorial Episcopal Church and the Craigmiles Mausoleum, as well as our Parish House and Parish Hall. The care and maintenance of these facilities is offered to the glory of God as spaces for ministry to the Cleveland community and in trust for future generations.
Before my wife and I moved to Cleveland, we dreamed of joining a church like St. Luke’s. Here, we found a beautiful historic church where we could encounter God away from the hectic circumstances of our daily lives. We were only further drawn in by the engaging members of this parish who warmly welcomed us and our young daughters. Now, as fellow member of this flourishing parish family, my wife and I can contribute to the critical work that must be done to maintain the historic sacred space we all love. As a historic preservation professional, I understand the deferred maintenance challenges facing our parish. Any historic property, even as well-built as our church, requires deliberate and engaged stewardship from its caretakers. This is the only formula for its long-term success. Our parish is incredibly blessed to worship in this beautiful space that was gifted to us long ago. Our city is incredibly blessed to have this historic property anchoring our downtown community. We owe it to ourselves, the young lives already in our parish, and our future parish members to be engaged stewards of our historic sacred space.
Chad Shores, Member of St. Luke’s