St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church is located in the heart of Nashville, TN. We are a church of diverse backgrounds with one heart of mind to serve the Lord. We are motivated to meet the needs of our community by effectively preaching and teaching God’s word. The St. Luke church has been a pillar in the south Nashville community for over 144 years. We are one of the fastest-growing congregations in the city. Yet, while we grow in numbers we are excited about our growth in faith. Please find below information about the Primitive Baptist Faith and the St. Luke PBC church history.
THE PRIMITIVE BAPTIST CHURCH COVENANT
Shortly after the Civil War, in 1867, there were several black people who showed interest in the preaching and teaching of Dr. Bun Stephen who was the pastor of the College Hill Primitive Baptist Church, which was an all-white congregation. These black people believed in the doctrine of the Primitive Baptists, but there was no black church where they could worship. Dr. Stephen realized there was a need for a preacher for them. Being lead by the spirit he ordained Charles Maxfield and the blacks were allowed to worship in the basement of the College Hill Church. By 1871, 137 years ago, the congregation had grown to such an extent that Elder Maxfield, Dr. Stephens and the deacons of College Hill felt that blacks should have their own church building. The blacks accompanied Elder Maxfield and Deacon Samuel Shelby to a spot of ground in the Maury Claiborne addition of Nashville, where a small frame house was built. St. Luke still stands on this same piece of land today!
After being the pastor for a short while Elder Maxfield moved on to Texas, leaving St. Luke without a pastor. St. Luke then called Elder W.M. Cooper who pastored for a short time until he passed away in 1875. After Elder Cooper’s passing, on the recommendation of Dr. Stephen (who at that time continued to guide St. Luke), John Crawley, Deacon Samuel Shelby, and St. Luke called its third pastor, Elder Mason. Elder Mason was a pastor of Sandy Hill in Rutherford County at the time. He also was a district school teacher. The congregation at that time was 47 strong in membership. Then, St. Luke was known as Lewis Street Primitive Baptist Church.
The congregation soon grew too large for the frame house in which they were worshiping, and in 1880, Elder Mason saw a need for a larger church house. He sought the advice of his deacon board, Jesse Vaughn, Thomas Sanders, Adam Perkins, Samuel Shelby, and Washington Campbell. After carefully considering plans for building a larger church, the pastor and deacons proceeded to borrow $3,000 from the Building and Loan Association. A large brick edifice was erected and the congregation continued to grow. The deacon board paid back on the $3,000 loan each month, according to their promise, but the debt was decreased by only a small amount regardless of their continuance to pay.
ST. LUKE PB MINISTRIES
St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church provides the opportunity to participate in a number of ministries that allow members to serve the congregational needs and the community at large. Ministry participants connect with like-minded individuals while making a difference within the church and society.