Episcopalians in this area began meeting to hold services in homes in about 1905. Services were held in a number of places: the Methodist church, the assembly room of the Carnegie Library, the lobby of the McCleary Clinic, the Elks Club, and in numerous store fronts.
The Excelsior Springs Daily Standard of December 1, 1932 records, “In spite of the inconvenience of these church arrangements, Episcopalians here have baptized and confirmed their children in the Church, have partaken of the Lord’s Supper, and have buried their dead in church solemnity, preserving through the years their faith and loyalty to the tenets of the Episcopal Church.”
When the Right Reverend Robert Nelson Spencer became Bishop of West Missouri in 1930, St. Luke’s was actively planning a church building. Years of prayer and hard work resulted in a determination to build a really beautiful church in exactly the right spot. “Just the right spot” was owned by Major W. A. J. Bell of Blechingly, England. He was contacted and very generously gave the lots opposite the Elms Hotel (the present site) as well as the native stone quarried from his property east of town on Highway 10. The Diocese arranged for the loan and the building was begun in 1933. Plans were made to have the consecration on St. Luke’s Day in 1933, but it was delayed until November 12, 1933.
A framed stone on the west wall of the nave was a gift to St. Luke’s from Mrs. Bell and was sent from the Bells’ home church of St. Mary the Virgin. St. Mary’s history dates from 1090. The native limestone is a link between the two churches.
By 1934 St. Luke’s had its first resident priest, the Reverend Horton I. French