About Us

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a welcoming and caring community built on a foundation of faith and good works. The people of this parish hold many points of view, from the very liberal to the very conservative. Yet diverse in thought as we are, our parish is made whole by our understanding that God’s love descends on each of us in equal measure, and that we are reconciled to God and to each other through the sharing of the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Communion and through the liturgies of repentance, prayer, and praise in The Book of Common Prayer.

Our Church Building

St. Luke’s has had a long presence in Cedar Falls. As early as 1853, Episcopal clergy served Cedar Falls and the surrounding area. The first meetings were held in a schoolhouse located on the corner of Fifth and Main Streets, a common practice among many religious groups.

By 1868, although money was scarce in post-Civil War Iowa, the first St. Luke’s building was erected on the corner of Seventh and Main Streets. It served our parishioners for nearly 100 years. During that time the church underwent many renovations, going from a street-level building with water issues and two cast iron stoves for heat to an elevated building (1918) with a basement featuring a furnace and sufficient room for Sunday school classes, rummage sales, and social gatherings.

In June 1965, parishioners watched and aided as the Main Street icon was demolished. Until then, St. Luke’s was the oldest congregation in Cedar Falls still meeting in its original building. One year later, and exactly 100 years after the first cornerstone had been laid in 1866, Fr. William Gray turned over the first spade of dirt at the groundbreaking for the new church. At that service, his last in Cedar Falls, Fr. Gray reminded his congregation:

“…Don’t call your new building a ‘sanctuary’ as that term refers to a place of escape. The church building is a gathering place for communion with the people of God and Christ. Your escape should be into the world, into the marketplace where your mission is.”