Before a parish was established in Columbia, Missouri, Orthodox Christians gathered for 30 years to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in various churches throughout Columbia and Jefferson City through the dedicated assistance of visiting clergy from St. Louis and Kansas City.
In 2001, under the guidance of Fr. Joseph Strzelecki of the Assumption Church, Town & Country, MO, a steering committee was formed to establish a parish in Columbia. In 2002, the Metropolis of Chicago appointed a priest to celebrate Holy Week and Easter services. Shortly thereafter, the steering committee petitioned the Metropolis for parish status and a permanent priest.
In September of 2002, the Rev. Dean A. Panagos was assigned to the parish. In October of the same year we received a temporary charter from the Archdiocese, and the name of our parish – St. Luke the Evangelist.
Saint Luke the Evangelist is the only Orthodox Church between Kansas City and Saint Louis; and as such it ministers to all Orthodox Christians within a 90 mile driving radius of Columbia.
During the years 2002-2005 the parish owned two homes – 901 and 903 West Broadway. One home was converted into a church; the other home was used for classes and fellowship.
In 2005, we purchased and moved into the former Church of Christ located at Stadium Boulevard and Highway 63. The church sanctuary seats 150 people, with classroom space and an outdoor play area.
When Fr. Dean was reassigned in 2006, the community welcomed Fr. Emmanuel Hatzidakis and his family in July of 2007. Fr. Emmanuel serviced the community until early 2009 when he decided to retire from active parish ministry.
In January 2009 the Parish Council was excited to learn that a priest had been found to service St. Luke and would arrive on February 1, 2009. Fr. Michael Monos celebrated his first liturgy at St. Luke on that day, and was welcomed to his new parish home.
In 2012, the parish purchased a 20 acre parcel of land 5 miles south of its current location for future expansion with the full agreement of the General Assembly.
On March 9 - 10, 2013, the parish celebrated its 10th anniversary with a celebratory banquet and a hierarchical Divine Liturgy with their Spiritual Father, His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos. During the hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Fr. Michael was honored with the office (ofikia) of Economos.
We currently have about 60 steward families. The operating budget and ministries of the parish are sustained through a stewardship program and fundraising events.
Please pray for the future of our parish - that it may continue to be a light of Holy Orthodoxy in mid-Missouri, to the glory of His holy and magnificent Name!