St. Luke the Evangelist was officially founded in 2002 by local families to provide a pan-Orthodox Christian witness to the east side of the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. There are over two dozen Orthodox parishes in the Cleveland metropolitan area, but almost all of them are located either in central Cleveland or on the West side.
In November 2008, Fr. Matthew Thurman was sent to St. Luke as its first full-time priest. Since his arrival, St. Luke has undertaken an active effort to develop its community life. The parish has regular adult study opportunities, an established Church School program, and several fellowship and outreach opportunities for members and inquirers.
Moving to Chagrin Falls
During the summer of 2010, St. Luke moved to a dedicated rented location in downtown Chagrin Falls. Up to that point, St. Luke had been a "Sunday Liturgy only" community. With the advent of acquiring its own dedicated space, St. Luke has been able to offer the full cycle of regular services and activities to the surrounding community. Even with this expansion in activity, the parish was limited by the constraints of a rental space within a building shared with other tenants.
Designing a Building
St. Luke began a new chapter in the summer of 2016 by actively planning to build a permanent church on 6 acres of property owned by the parish. During 2017, the parish hired an architect and worked with him to prepare plans for a 5,000 sq. ft. church building. The end of 2017 saw the beginning of a capital campaign to raise funds for building construction.
During most of 2018, the building program saw completion building plans, final approval from the Archdiocese for construction, and a process of interviewing contractors to do the work.
A New Chapter, A New Building
In early November 2018, an existing church building on 12 acres of property in Bainbridge Township came to the parish's attention. The building and property on 306/Chillicothe Rd. about 3/4 mi south of Hwy 422 were formerly owned by New Life Fellowship. For those familiar with local history will know that this was the original Holy Angels Catholic Church building.
Given the prospect of purchasing an existing building on twice as much property (and for half the cost of constructing a new building!), the parish worked diligently to obtain hierarchical approval, secure a mortgage, and work through all of the details involved with a real estate purchase.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH, our parish closed on the purchase agreement at the end of January 2019.
St. Luke began offering our its services in the new building during Palm Sunday, Holy Week, & Pascha 2019.
Short-term plans call for modest renovations and beautification of the building to properly offer Orthodox worship in the new space. Long-term plans call for eventually building a dedicated church temple using the designs developed during the 2016-2018 building process.
(updated May 2019)