A loving caring community serving all
The History Of Memorial Church Of St. Luke
The Beloved Physician
Pauline Henry wanted to memorialize her late husband Bernard Henry, MD-. He was a well known naval surgeon who was lost at sea during their honeymoon. She established the building of St. Luke's in what was then country farmland with a small, growing population. The church was dedicated in 1861 at the beginning of the Civil War. A separate chapel, which had housed the Sunday School (now the church office) was built as well along with a rectory and parish hall. There is also a cemetery. Some of the neighborhood's most prominent people are buried there: State Senator Louis Farrell- who served on the vestry for 50 years, the Gregg family, the Tomlinsons, and Civil War General Penncock Huey. Elias Toy, a crew member of the funeral train that carried Abraham Lincoln’s body home to Illinois is also buried in the cemetery. Generations of family members of the congregation are also buried there.
The original rectory and parish hall have since been replaced but the original church still stands. The church was built by renowned architect Richard Upjohn (1802-1878).
It has been designated as a historical building by the Philadelphia Historical Commission on August 29, 2017.
As a memorial to her mother, Mrs. Henry donated the silverware that is used every Sunday for Communion. The altar cross was given as a memorial to her father. The large marble medallions on the back wall of the church memorialize Pauline and Bernard Henry.
Today the church is home to about 100 faithful families and continues to flourish in the community. We are a diverse congregation who come together to worship. We accept all as they are and embrace our differences and similarities.
St Luke's continues its legacy of service to all as evidenced by its many community outreach focused programs.