1300 Pine Street
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
St. Luke's Episcopal Church was chartered in 1873 by several prominent Reconstruction era figures, including Henry E. Hayne, Theophilus Minton, Andrew M. Wallace, and E.B. Thompson, with the latter purchasing the church's first property at the corner of Hampton and Marion streets. The congregation originally met in residences until the construction of its first chapel in 1883. The congregation, needing more space, moved to 912 Hampton Street in 1911. Renowned photographer Richard Samuel Roberts, who recorded the lives of many black Columbians in the 1920s and 1930s, was a member until his death. In 1946, foreseeing the need for expansion, the vestry purchased this vacant lot. Today, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church includes a chapel (1958), church edifice (1963), and community center (1972).
Columbia architect James B. Urquhart designed the minimal traditional, brick-veneer and board and baton chapel, and the John C. Heslep Construction Company completed the building in 1958. Urquhart also designed the congregation’s church edifice, a Colonial Revival, brick-veneer worship center built five years later. In 1970, St. Luke’s began construction of the community center, which was completed in 1972. Long a dream of the church’s priest, the Reverend William Fletcher O’Neal (1929-1975), the center was renamed in his honor after his death. Today, the separate units of the church property continue to function as they were intended, with the chapel serving as a venue for small ceremonies and group meetings and the church edifice operating as the anchor and primary worship space. The William F. O’Neal Center serves the community through Fresh Start Ministry, which provides laundry services, information resources, fresh produce and food, and clothing. The center also hosts local athletic organizations and community groups.