St. Luke's UMC Livingston Fire Update

Date Posted: 4/30/2012

There was a major fire on April 11, 2012 at St. Luke’s UMC in Livingston. St. Luke’s is part of Livingston circuit - a two-point charge that shares pastor Sandra Wright with Pleasant Hill UMC. Facilitating Elder and pastor of Onalaska UMC Rev. Paul Whitlatch said “the church is a total loss, but we are getting a lot of help around the district and around the conference.” He noted the cause of the fire was not arson, and was most likely electrical.


The congregation of St. Luke’s is currently worshipping in the Livingston Junior High School cafeteria and have had several offers of a more permanent and less costly place to meet for worship and have Sunday school. They have also been given donations from First UMC Lufkin, East District United Methodist Women and a very sizable offering collected by First Baptist Church, Livingston. Additionally First UMC Livingston has offered worship space on a permanent basis, at no cost, until the completion of a new facility. “This will mean the congregation can gather at the same place while they rebuild,” Whitlatch added. “I think this is what the Kingdom of God is like. And, this gives us all hope for the future.”

“It’s such a shock for a small congregation when they lose their rallying point, but they’re doing well…” Whitlatch continued. “We’re really grateful for the support and prayers all across the conference - you definitely feel it at times like that.” 

He said the next step is to call a charge conference and put together a building committee to discuss their plans. “They’re going to have to make the determination whether they want to build on the same site or move elsewhere... We’re not rebuilding for the past, but building for the future.”