Parish History

A Thirty Year History of the Parish of Saint Luke the Evangelist

Prepared by Aristea Zekios

    January 29th,1984, marked the genesis of Saint Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Mission as a Eucharistic community. For the 35 souls who gathered for the first Divine Liturgy at the Wayside Chapel in Palos Heights, it was the fulfillment of the hopes and dreams that had been envisioned in their minds and hearts for years. The warmth experienced on that cold winter morning was a presence of the Holy Spirit
    working among those called to declare His wonderful deeds; (I Peter 2:9)

    The joy that morning was inexpressible, but no one could have imagined the journey that lay ahead. Over the next 30 years, the Saint Luke community would undergo various stages of development – acquiring a permanent building, supporting a permanently assigned priest, sprouting another mission parish, changing from "mission" to "church" status, completing the renovation of the church building, consecrating Saint Luke Church, expanding the building and beautifying it. All of this was done while nourishing souls to grow each day in His likeness and image.

    Each step was a test of the ability to stay focused on the purpose of this mission parish. It was exciting to witness growth as new souls were added to the flock. These souls strengthened the community through their zeal, enthusiasm, and talents as Saint Luke solidified into a community of faithful from all different backgrounds and traditions. The common thread was their love for Christ and His Church and their vision of what the Orthodox Church should be in North America.


    The parish of Saint Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church celebrated its 30th Anniversary on October 19, 2014. What a perfect time to continue this history. So much has happened in the past 14 years!


    With the raising of $750,000 in bonds, plans materialized for a building expansion program. In April of 2001, His Grace Bishop Job blessed the long-awaited ground breaking for the new building to house classrooms, pastoral office, and fellowship area


    The clergy have provided guidance, encouragement, and support in the
    implementation of the vision and mission of this community. Ordinations and awards
    have been numerous.

    And a special thanks to Father Howard Sloan for concelebrating Divine Liturgy
    with Father Andrew often and acting as substitute priest in his absence. Father Howard helps to keep the liturgical life flowing smoothly.

    "...a man is justified by works, and not by faith alone." 
    - James 2:24