The Freewill Baptist Church is not a movement that
has sprung up within the past few years. History records a place for the movement as far back as the early seventeeth
century. An entire church, consisting of Pastor and congregation came from Wales and settled on the Delware River on
what was known as the Welsh Tract. From this group came several men who preached the Armenian Doctrine in contrast
to the prevailing Calvanistic Doctrine of the day.
Of these men, Paul Palmer is credited with organizing
the first Freewill Baptist Church in 1727, in Perquimans County, North Carolina. The work in the northeast was instituted
under the leadership of Benjamin Randall, who organized the first Freewill Baptist Church in New Durham, New Hampshire,
June 30, 1780.
St. Luke's Freewill Baptist Church, Inc. was
organized in 1915 by Lugenia Clark on the corner of Fourth Street and Texas Avenue. In 1957, the church was
rebuilt in the same location. In 1977, St. Luke's F.W.B. Church, Inc. moved to this present location.
In 1980, St. Luke's was without a pastor. After
much prayer and fasting, God sent his servant, full of FAITH, POWER, and DELIVERANCE...26 year old
Arthur L. Johnson, Sr., along with his lovely, talented wife Sis. Clarise Johnson of Syracuse, New York. This dynamic
team, was sent to preach deliverance to a hurting church. They have four children: Aretha, Alicia, Angela,
and Arthur,Jr., and four grandchildren: Reeshay, Imani, Ree'Montae, & Ashanti. Through their ministry, many
souls have come to Christ. Our pastors continue to produce positive role models and community leaders who
re saved, sancified, and filled with the Holy Ghost.
When Rev. Johnson came to pastor St. Luke,
he came with a vision. A vision of a growing African-American church dedicated to the community and its people. Pastor Johnson
grew increasingly disturbed about the lack of quality Christian education available to African-American families in the Northwest
section of Lakeland.
In 1986, the vision began to become
a reality. St. Luke's Christian Academy & Preschool opened its doors with five students. Armed with the word of
God, an excellent Christian curriculum, salvation and dedicated teachers, St. Luke's Christian Academy started to make its
mark on the surrounding community. Yet there was something missing from our learning experience. It was discovered that our
precious jewels, our infants, were missing out on the friendly learning environment of St. Luke's Christian Academy &
Since 1986, St. Luke's has
broadened its enrollment to include our children as young as six weeks old , through Second (2) grade, Increasing our
number of students from 5 students in 1986, to over 100 students presently. St. Luke's Christian Academy also features a Summer
program for children ages 5 to 11 yrars old. The many students that have graduated from our academy and gone on to attend
public school, have maintained Honor Roll status. Many parents have attributed this success to the good educational
foundation received at St. Luke's Christian Academy.
On Sunday, June 9, 1991, we
dedicated our new edifice here at 910 West Quincy St., in beautiful Lakeland, Florida. Our location of worship consists
of a 500 plus seating capacity. Included on our location are the sanctuary, educational wing, adjoining annex, administrative
office suites, spacious grounds, recreational area, and numerous parking facilities.
The continued growth
of this ministry made it necessary for a second pastor. On July 9, 1995, Sister Clarise Johnson, the pastor's wife, became
Pastor Clarise Johnson. She is a great woman of FAITH,POWER, and DELIVERANCE. This change
caused the ministry to soar to immeasurable heights. Together the Pastor and Co-Pastor have established over 20 Outreach
Ministries. On December 14, 1997, the ministry went to yet another level. The name was changed to St. Luke's Ministries,
Inc. We have entered the twenty-first century with great expectations.
St. Luke's Ministries,
Inc. has once again stepped out on faith to make one of our visions a reality. The success of St. Luke's Christian Academy
& Preschool has created a need for larger facilities. "Here we "grow" again"!!! St. Luke's Christian Academy
& Preschool's new building feature luxurious classrooms with private bathrooms. There are more than 25 trained employees
in our new facilities. The Academy & Preschool also includes new outdoor recreational facilities for our children's
Our Pastors refuse to
neglect our youth. They truly believe the youth of today are our investments in tomorrow. Therefore, St. Luke's Ministries,
Inc.'s new addition also includes a state of the art gymnasium. This gymnasium has retractable goals and N.B.A. style
courts. We want our youth to enjoy their Christian fellowship. Come and join us as we move forward in the Lord!
We will continue to keep each other lifted up in prayer!!!
WE ARE SO GLAD YOU CHOSE OUR CHURCH AS YOUR CHURCH!!!