St. Luke’s Church History
A huge residential area started developing on both sides of the Allithurai Road, West of Bishop Heber College in the 1990s. It comprises area like Kumaran Nagar, Srinivasa Nagar, Shanmuga Nagar and Geetha Nagar. A rough survey indicated that there were about 120 Christian families living in these areas and more families were coming in. A need for fellowship among these families was felt.
At the initiative of Rev. M. Masilamani, the Chairman of the All Saints Church, Puthur, regular Cottage Prayer Meetings were started in the year 1994. A few women took leadership in not only organizing these meetings but also in bringing in people. Pastors from CSI churches in the town were invited to give the message.
A good fellowship developed among families who attended these meetings. Christmas get-togethers were arranged in a grand manner in the Bishop Heber College with dinner, games and gifts, Members contributed liberally to provide Christmas lunch and gifts to the blind children at the Government School for the Blind at Puthur.
The Tiruchy-Tanjore Diocese permitted the starting of a Worship Center at the Tabernacle of Testimony, the Chapel of Bishop Heber College under the supervision of the All Saint’s Church from July 1996. The worship center was formally inaugurated with a Holy Communion service solemnized by the then Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. R. Paulraj. Rev. Manoharan was appointed at the first Deacon-in-charge of the church and was later worship center and a large number of students of Bishop Heber College attended the worship.
Rev. Mrs. Shanthi Tilak was appointed Pastor of the church in 1998 and continued till May 2000.
In June 2000 Rev. C. David took charge as Pastor and initiated steps to make the worship center become a regular church.
St. Luke’ Church:
The Trichy-Tanjore Diocese gave formal permission to start The St. Luke’s church from the 1st of June 2001 with Rev. C. David as its first pastor and chairman. Rev. Dr. Daniel Vincent took charge as the DCC Chairman and Pastor from June 2003 – 2009.
Rev. Immanuel Rajaiah (2009 – October 2012) and Rev. Nalini Immanuel Rajaiah took charge as pastors from 2009 onwards.
The sudden death of Rev. Immanuel Rajaiah in October 2012 led Rev. Nalini Immanuel to be the Pastor. She was elected as DCC Chairman of Dharapuram DCC in the 2013 Diocesan Council and started looking after the administrative affairs of Dharapuram DCC and the Pastoral work in St. Luke’s Church. She served the Church till May 2013.
Rev. I. Franklin took charge as pastor from June 2013 onwards.
The St. Luke’s church has grown to be one of the major churches in the Diocese with a membership of over 800. Sunday services are well attended by members, visitors and a huge student population.
The church has its unique open order of service following closely the CSI order with testimony time, intercessory prayers and praise and worship time. This vibrant church has multidimensional activities which include retreats, Sunday class, women’s fellowship, men’s fellowship. Bible study, outreach programs, cottage prayer meetings, support of a family of a blind person and support of three girl students from a tribal area. The church financially supports poor churches in their church building projects and a number of para-church organizations like the IMS and the FMPB.