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St. Luke’s Episcopal Church was erected in 1871. Before that time the church had very few members here.
Dr. and Mrs. Golding came to Hawkinsville in January 1862. Mrs. Golding wrote Rev. H. K. Rees, rector of Christ Church in Macon, informing him that several young people here were interested in the church, and suggested that he come and hold services. He accepted the invitation, came and held services at the Methodist
Church and baptized a class consisting of Dr. C. H. Golding, Mr. F. H. Bozeman, and Mr. Thomas Carruthers. This was the first Episcopal service ever held in Hawkinsville.
Later, this class, including Miss Carrie Pooler. daughter of Mrs. Golding, was confirmed in Macon at Christ Church by Bishop Elliott, the first Episcopal Bishop of Georgia. In September, 1869, Judge John Henry and family moved to Hawkinsville.
Services were now held regularly at Wimberly’s Hall on Commerce Street. Ministers from Macon came at intervals to hold these services and a Sunday school was organized. Mr. F. H. Bozeman was appointed lay leader and superintendent of Sunday school. A Bible class was organized with Judge Henry as teacher. His daughter, Amanda Henry (Mrs. S. M. Caldwell) was the first child to become a member of the Sunday school.
A building fund was soon commenced for the erection of a church. Those who contributed to this fund were: Bishop Beckwith, Dr. Colding, Judge Henry, Mr. F. H. Bozeman, and Mr. L. N. Whittle of Macon. Judge Henry selected the spot where the church now stands. A plain frame building 24 by 50 feet was erected. Later, at the suggestion of Judge Kibbee, the chancel and vestry rooms were added, and general improvements made. Rev. H. K. Rees presented the altar fixtures, which he made with his own hands. The adjoining lot was then purchased by Mr. F. H. Bozeman and presented by him to the church.
The Woman’s Guild was organized in 1887 by Rev. Allard Barnwell, with Mrs. C. C. Kibbee as president and Mrs. F. H. Bozeman as secretary and treasurer.
In 1897 the rectory, in front of the church, was bought from Mrs. M. S. Hamilton. Most of it was paid for by the Woman’s Guild.
In 1916, through the efforts of Rev. W. H. Robinson, who was rector at that time, the church was covered with a brick veneer, which made it very attractive in appearance. This was a serious undertaking for a small congregation, but the people of Hawkinsville, being friendly toward the church and realizing that a brick church is an asset to any town, were very liberal in their donations to this work. This church, though small, is one of the most attractive in the city. It is of red brick.
The chancel has a number of handsome memorials, including a memorial window of beautiful design in memory of Bishop Beckwith, a hand-carved eagle lectern in memory of Rev. H. K. Reese, an altar rail of oak and brass in memory of Judge and Mrs. John Henry, and a brass cross in memory of Rev. Harry Cassill.
The passing years have made many changes in this church, but in spite of the changes St. Luke’s has always held a prominent place in the Diocese of Georgia.