Who we are, where we are, where we come from, and where we're headed as a church family
Who we are
The Church of St Luke and St Matthew is a faith community centered on Jesus Christ. We are part of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement. We gather to worship and give thanks for the blessings of grace, mercy and peace. We gather to share our stories and our lives of faith. Though as a church we are 180 years old, we continue to aim to make Jesus relevant to the community of Clinton Hill / Fort Greene, Prospect Heights each and every day
Where we are
The church sits in the center of the neighborhoods of Clinton Hill, Fort Greene and Prospect Heights, all located on the eastern edge of downtown Brooklyn. The area has changed as the pressure for housing has increased. The area is diverse both in its residents and in its streetscape. This provides a rich texture to the neighborhood. Key parts of the area include Pratt Institute, Brooklyn Hospital, Atlantic Terminal, Fort Greene Park, Prospect Park, Brooklyn Library.
The closest Subway Station to the church is Clinton-Washington on the C line.
Where we come from
The Church of St Luke and St Matthew was first formed as St Luke’s in 1841, an Episcopal Church in what was the outskirts of Brooklyn. Over the years other congregations have been consolidated into the parish family to form the rich community of faith that we now are. In 1943, St Matthew’s Church consolidated with St Lukes and in 2004 St Michael’s Church joined. The resulting parish became one of the first racially diverse parishes in Brooklyn.
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 setbacks 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.
Where we’re headed
The world needs to know the healing grace of Jesus Christ. Christ’s message of hope, love and peace is as relevant today as it was when the church was formed, and as it was when Jesus Christ first called his disciples. We continually seek to build our community of faith based on the teachings of Jesus, the prophets and apostles, and to serve the community in ways that matter.
What this means for you
What does this mean for you? Most importantly, you’re always welcome at the Church of St Luke and St Matthew. The church family is your spiritual family and so we seek to welcome you home to this house of prayer and service.
Beyond that, if you’re ready to plan your first visit, click here. If you want to learn more about our beliefs as a church, click here. Or if you’d simply like to get in touch with a person on our leadership team directly, click the button below.
Let us know you're visiting!
We can’t wait to meet you in person.