St. Luke’s Church Continues Their Mission in New Location


St. Luke’s Lutheran Church was incorporated on February 19, 1897, with the first church structure erected at 308 1st Avenue in Goodhue the following year. The congregation will hold their last service in that building on February 25, 2024. The service begins at 9:30 AM and will include a decommissioning of the building. There will be a dedication ceremony during the first service in their newly constructed building located near the intersection of Highway 9 and County Road 6 on March 3rd. That service will also begin at 9:30 AM with the expectation of some former pastors attending. Everyone is welcome.

The original church building, built at a cost of $1,320.00, went through many additions and updates in the past 126 years. Early improvements included extending the steeple and adding a bell in 1908 and creating sufficient basement space for youth classrooms in 1914. The first extensive remodeling of the building happened between 1949 and 1954 when the alter was extended and the basement enlarged again to create a kitchen and meeting rooms. This construction also created a choir loft and rest rooms. A chancel and educational unit was added to the church in 1969. The building remained much the same until another addition was added in 1990, creating a new entryway.

The expansions and updates made the church handicap accessible and helped facilitate a growing congregation. Members feel blessed that they have burgeoning Sunday School and youth programs. An active group of 9th-12th grade students they call SWAG (Saved With Amazing Grace), gather weekly in the church basement where they prepare a meal or just make pizza and enjoy Christian fellowship.

Looking to the future, leaders realized that the current facility would not contain the membership or allow for its continued growth. The aging structure, its land-locked location in the residential neighborhood and lack of parking spurred the decision to seek a new location to build a larger church. The St. Luke community spent over 10 years planning, praying, hoping, and waiting to move into their new church building.

The first dirt moved on the 5.6 acre lot West of town along County Road 6 in August of 2022. The official groundbreaking ceremony was held on April23, 2023. The building is still a work in progress but the congregation is on the threshold of moving into the new facility. The building and planning crews have worked hard to stay on schedule and on budget. The capital campaign has way exceeded the expectations of the first 3-year plan. When this phase of the project is completed, a new 3-year plan will be put in place. Future goals include building a bridge connecting the church property to the walking trail and residential area of the new housing developments and erecting another, separate multi-purpose recreation hall.

Features of the newly constructed church include a gathering area inside the main entrance, a family room, a pastor’s office and conference room, youth activity room, classrooms and a maintenance and storage area. The East side of the new building has an expanded kitchen and social hall. The parking area is designed for 132 vehicles.

The main church occupancy will expand from 150 people in the old building to comfortably seating 280 in the new one. The alter and chancel area will be on a raised platform in front of the stained glass rendering of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane that will be relocated from the current site. All of the stained glass windows in the original church will be moved and installed in the new one. The church has put out a call for trucks, trailers, SUV’s, and as many hands as possible to help move all paraphernalia inside St. Luke to the new building after worship on February 25th. The congregation closes on the sale of the old property, which has been purchased by Marc and Brittany Huneke of Bellechester, on March 1st.

As expected, there are mixed emotions about the move. Many lifelong members have been baptized, confirmed, married, and said good-bye to loved ones in the old building. But God is always doing something new, and St. Luke is excited to grow in faith, hope, love, and Christian service in its new home. The congregation would like to extend its many thanks to Goodhue and surrounding communities for the tremendous support, help, and donations. Their motto is, “Our hope is in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We help by serving the God we cannot see through serving the neighbor we can.”

St. Luke Lutheran Church is a member of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). For more information, contact the church office at 651-923-4695 or by e-mail: or Pastor Eric Hanson at 612-834-2149 or by e-mail: