Original Stained Glass Windows


Christ Window


In response to the call in Roman 15:7 to "Welcome one another, therefore as Christ has welcomed you", we warmly welcome people of any race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and ability.

We invite you to join us in our worship of Christ and fellowship.



history of st luke

A History of St Luke Lutheran Church

Rev Jerry L StraszheimIn 1962, the Division of American Missions of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) decided to start a mission in northwest Atlanta. The Rev. Jerry L. Straszheim was called from Columbus, Ohio at the conclusion of his senior year in seminary to become the first pastor. In starting what would be only the second ALC congregation in the state of Georgia, the former sports announcer knocked on over 3500 doors seeking the unchurched, the inactive and any Lutherans. The first worship service was held on September 8, 1963 in Birney Elementary School. Construction on the present site began in October 1963. The Congregation was officially established on January 18, 1964 with 37 confirmed members and first worshiped in the newly completed church on May 31, 1964, with the building officially dedicated on November 15, 1964.

Pastor Gordon T. ReinertsenThe Rev. Gordon T. Reinertsen became St. Luke's second Pastor. His first worship service was on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1972. Pastor Reinertsen served St Luke for over 38 years before retiring on February 28, 2011. We have been truly blessed by his loving and dedicated leadership and care in helping St Luke to grow into the thriving, vibrant community it is today.

Pastor Craig StorliePastor Craig Storlie was installed on March 6, 2011 as St. Luke’s interim pastor. Pastor Craig currently lives in Lawrenceville, GA. He originally hails from Minnesota and attended Luther Seminary. He was ordained in 1985 and has served churches in MN, TX, and GA. With his experience in interim ministry, he guided us through the transition process of preparing for and calling a new permanent pastor. Transition was complete on September 30, 2012.

Rev. Dr. Ruth E. HamiltonThe Rev. Dr. Ruth E. Hamilton, was installed as St Luke’s third pastor on November 18, 2012. She came to us from the ELCA Churchwide organization in Chicago where she had been serving as chief of staff to Secretary David D. Swartling. She was ordained in 2003 after graduating from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. She joined the staff of the ELCA churchwide organization in 1999 as director for administration of the archives. She has a PhD in English from Northwestern and has taught at Northwestern, Northern Illinois, Loyola, and Wartburg (see bio). During her time at St. Luke, the congregation grew younger and more diverse. We enjoyed her creative children’s sermons, beautiful singing of the Liturgy, insightful Bible Studies and small group dinners (see her sermon archive). She completed her ministry at St. Luke on March 19, 2017, returning to the ELCA churchwide organization to work in the area of candidacy and leadership development.

The Rev. Paul H. Summer Pastor Paul H Summeris our current pastor. He joined us on August 21, 2017 for a two-year term, coming here from Columbia, SC where he had been serving as Executive Director of Advancement for Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) of Lenoir-Rhyne University since 2014. For the first twenty-two years of his career, he served as a parish pastor in the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod. His wife, Debra is a retired public educator. They have three grown children and six grandchildren. See more! Pastor Summer was officially installed as St Luke's Fourth pastor on October 15, 2017. Dr. Ratke, Dean of LTSS and former colleague of Pastor Summer preached. A reception and supper followed. See photos!

Anna TewAnna Tew became St Luke's first intern pastor on July 25, 2014, completing her time with us in July 2015, one step closer to ordination as an ELCA Lutheran Pastor. She brought many fresh ideas such as Blessing of the Animals, Beer and Hymns Fellowships and Ministry by Facebook. Anna was born and raised in Alabama in a Southern Baptist tradition. She earned a Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory in 2011, served as chaplain at Emory Hospital in Midtown and has been a member of St John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta. She received a call to be pastor at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in South Hadley, Massachusetts and was ordained January 31, 2016 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Atlanta.

Karen BodaKaren Boda came to St. Luke in August 2015 having recently graduated with a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology of Emory University. She has been a Lutheran almost all her life and a member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Marietta for the past 30 years. In her previous life, she worked as a director in customer support for Hewlett Packard. While serving here until April 24, 2016, Vicar Karen brought us fresh ways to connect with God and our fellows: the "Gods Work, Our Hands" mobile, Lenten Prayer Flags, and many timely Facebook posts thanks to the photographic talents of her husband Alan. And she sang in our choir! She was ordained October 15, 2016 and is now serving as Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Clay, Alabama.

Pastor Beth Birkholz Pastor Beth Birkholzshared her gifts with St. Luke for a time too brief in 2017 from March 22 through June 11 during our transition. Prior to joining us she served as Associate Pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Marietta. She is married to Pastor Scott Seeke who had been serving at Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Lawrenceville. Together they have accepted a call to be co-pastors of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Livonia, Michigan where they will undoubtedly be moved by her down-to-earth sermons relating her everyday experiences with those of people described in the Bible.

Notable building additions to St. Luke include our Fellowship Hall, our kitchen, rest rooms, and several classrooms in November of 1988. In March of 1998, the remodeling of our sanctuary which was completed. At that time 11 stained glass windows were added, including the "Crucifixion Window", a large stained glass window (click here for photos on the artist's website) of the crucifixion behind the altar. Additional stained glass windows of the creation story were added to the church entry in 2000. These windows are featured throughout our website.

Today the facility of St. Luke serves as a center for education and worship for the congregation and for many community groups.

Architect's Drawing for Fellowship Hall AdditionPastor Ordained 6/28/1970St Luke Lutheran Church in 1972History of St Luke Slideshow (click photo)

1988 Construction of Fellowship Hall Easter 2013 Egg Hunt