Phillipsburg wasn’t yet a town when a vision for mission led a priest from Hope (Hope, NJ) to plant a parish. Worship services began in the first school building, near South Main and Mercer, in 1856. Within five years, church members had gathered enough funds for a building – the grand sum of $5,500 – and land was donated by the Andover Furnace Company.
Despite a custom of “pew rentals” to build and maintain churches in the 1860s, St. Luke’s opened its doors as a free church, so all in the community could come and worship.
The early years were challenging and, with time and effort, the church and surrounding community grew. In 1923, as the Hillcrest section of Phillipsburg was attracting home builders and a new high school, leaders of St. Luke’s arranged to purchase a large tract of land on Morris Pike. The parish weathered construction of a second church building, debt, and relocation – landing St. Luke’s, for a time, on Memorial Parkway! A chapel, added in 1935 on what would became a busy traffic island, became the sole building of the church in the late 1940s.
The parish’s current home was dedicated in 1955, as St. Luke’s was celebrating a century of ministry in Phillipsburg. Today, we enjoy a park-like setting, with mature trees, a lawn with room for picnics and play, ample parking, and long-time neighbors.