St. Luke the Evangelist Mission began in 2002 under the guidance of Archpriest Elias Meena to provide an Orthodox Christian witness to the East side of the greater Cleveland metropolitan area. There are over two dozen Orthodox parishes in the region, but most of them are located either in central Cleveland or on the West side. The mission’s initial efforts under Fr. Meena included founding a community in the greater Solon area, the purchase of property for a permanent location, and the preparation of architectural plans for a church temple and hall.
Sadly, Fr. Meena’s untimely death in the summer of 2005 significantly curtailed the momentum of St. Luke’s. After Fr. Meena’s repose, the mission was served by two more priests on a part-time basis.
In November 2008, Fr. Matthew Thurman was sent to St. Luke’s as its first full-time priest. Since his arrival, the mission has undertaken an active effort to develop its community life. The mission has a regular adult Bible study, established Church School program, and several fellowship and outreach opportunities for members and inquirers.
St. Luke’s most recent milestone was the ordination of its seminarian to the diaconate this summer. Deacon Michael Porter continues his studies at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox School of Theology in Crestwood, NY.
The mission has met in a Knights of Columbus hall, a local private college’s student center, and currently in a Byzantine Catholic parish. The mission is in the process of identifying a dedicated space in an effort to provide a fuller liturgical life and contact point for potential inquirers.