The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew is a worship-centered Episcopal parish offering to all people opportunities for spiritual growth in the Christian Faith.
A Historical Glance:
It’s hard to picture the corner of Clinton and Atlantic as a cornfield. But that is all that was there in 1836 when a vibrant group of Episcopalians founded Trinity Church and mortgaged a small rubble-stone structure in the middle of that field. Unfortunately, in spite of their dedication, the church did not grow enough in the early years to be self-supporting. The building foreclosed on the property, and the place sat idle for several months. However, the population of Brooklyn was moving eastward, and in 1841 some of the original members of Trinity Church along with new residents of the neighborhood established a new congregation named St. Luke’s Church. With the assistance of Trinity Church, Manhattan, they were able to purchase the property of Trinity Church on Clinton Avenue. In the same year, St. Luke’s called her first rector, The Rev. Jacob W. Diller, who guided the parish in distinguished growth and expansion for the next thirty-seven years. During that time, the parish expanded just as the city of Brooklyn was expanding.
The period of 1853-1926 was marked by a diversity of interests and commitments. St. Luke’s provided spiritual and educational centers for the community. Schools and chapels ( St. Bartholomew’s Church) were established as far away as Bedford and Pacific, and the area between Clinton and Washington Avenues developed significantly. The parish itself installed a new organ and built a new Church School building. During this long period of steady growth, several fires presented temporary set backs in the progress of the parish. A pivotal change in the life of members, vestry and clergy began conversations with people at nearby St. Matthew’s Church. They were searching for ways to work together. Over the years it became more and more apparent to them that the work of the Episcopal Church in Clinton Hill would be dramatically enhanced by a merger between the two congregations. These discussions and increased joint efforts continued for 17 years. When Fr. Slone resigned to accept a call to another parish, the two congregations moved to merge into one congregation, Bishop James P. DeWolfe installed the rector of St. Matthew’s, The Rev. John H.S. Putnam, on April 4, 1943. Since that time, the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew has been an Anglican presence in the changing community in which it sits. Through many economic and cultural shifts, the parish has provided inspired liturgical and musical programs while maintaining pastoral outreach to the people of Clinton Hill and Brooklyn.