LUBBOCK, Texas — One of the oldest African American churches in Lubbock, Greater St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church, will receive a historical marker by the Lubbock Historical Commission on Sunday, December 11.

The church was originally started as Caldonia Baptist Church in 1921 under the leadership of Reverend Wiley and was held in a wooden shelter.

Since then, it has stood the test of time. Members say the longevity of the ministry has a lot to do with the leadership, biblical teaching and familial atmosphere.

Reverend J.H. Ford has proudly held the role of lead pastor for over 40 years.

“I think we have raised the spiritualty of this community; the churches are much closer together than they were when I [first] came,” Reverend Ford said.

Johnny Hardeman witnessed every transition of the church, even before there was a building.

“I am 76, and I was about 6 or 7 as far as I can remember,” Hardman said.

Darla Howard has been a member for 60 years, following after her mother and grandmother. Howard expressed that she considered the church a second home.

Howard said, “…there is some longevity and there is some endurance. We’ve had to go through some trials and tribulations. Like a family unit.”

Sherry Ford, wife of the pastor, said her years in this ministry have been rewarding.

“In 1981 I came into a new family, and they received us just beautifully and graciously,” Ford said. “I cannot complain. You don’t leave your family.”

Margaret Randle has been a member for 42 years, and says the church is also very involved in the community with voter registration, mammograms for women and an established scholarship.

“There are many ministers and people in the community that have come out of St. Luke. So, I want them to see that although I’m not still there, St. Luke is still going after 101 years,” Randle said.

As the church counts down the days to unveiling of the historical marker, members appreciate the journey they took to get to this point.

“I think it will instill more pride in the church family, to come to church and see this historical marker,” Reverend Ford said.

The Lubbock Historical Commission will unveil the historical marker on Sunday, December 11 at 12:30 p.m. in front of the church at 306 East 26th Street. The community is invited to witness this historic moment.