An Expanded History of St. Lucas
The first meeting of the congregation of the Horseshoe Lake Church was conducted by a Lutheran pastor, and the Church began in 1863 in the home of Sebastian Marty. The congregation was made up of German immigrants and the first pastor was Friedrich Hoffman.
Many of the German immigrants had their roots in the Pietistic movement in their native land and were a part of the Lutheran Church there. When they came to this country, many found that the Lutheran Church here was not as free as it had been in Germany. This lack of freedom led them to look for a place where they had the same right to have layman leadership. They also wanted their worship to follow what they believed the Scriptures taught them. For this reason, many of the German immigrants sought and found a home in the Evangelical and Congregational churches in America.
The congregation that formed that first church was Evangelical in its theology and took a firm position on the authority and inspiration of the Scripture as their rule for faith and practice. That position was passed down to their children and continues to be held by the members of the church to this day.
In 1872, Horseshoe Lake Church separated from the Lutheran Church. Seven families joined together and started the present congregation. The names of the charter members were Marty, Grosnick, Moritz, Wickelmann, Moll, Meiers and Gorgus. There are still direct descendants of these seven families that are active in our Church today. The congregation became a part of the Evangelical Church and changed its name to St. Lucas Church.
When the Evangelical Churches joined with Reformed Churches, the members of St. Lucas joined with that merger.
In the late 1950’s, the Evangelical and Reformed Churches joined with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ. The Church then took the name of St. Lucas United Church of Christ. They were a part of that denomination until 1998.
As the denomination became more liberal and politically involved, the congregation, which had always remained Evangelical in their theology, found that they no longer fit with the direction that the denomination was taking. After considerable study and searching, the congregation voted in 1998 to sever their ties with the United Church of Christ and to affiliate with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. At that time they also changed their name to St. Lucas Community Church.