Development Blog: 60th Anniversary of Historic St. Luke’s Restoration


The campaign for Historic St. Luke’s restoration 

Jennifer Kohms, Development Coordinator

Jennifer Kohms, Development Coordinator


As we approach the 60th anniversary of Historic St. Luke’s restoration, it is enlightening to reflect on the national fundraising initiative that took place for the project. Members of the restoration committee appeared on the television show Strike It Rich in 1954 to appeal to a wide audience for donations. In response, Historic St. Luke’s received letters like these, from Mary and Nancy Hunter, with 10 cents taped to each letter. 

 “I’m sending 10 cents to help repair the church. My name is Mary Brinn Hunter. I am 9 years old. I live at 325 Charles St., Henderson, N.C.  I go to The Church of The Holy Innocents, Henderson, N.C. I heard about the church on the T.V.” 

Mary and Nancy Hunter's donation letters to Historic St. Luke's restoration

Mary and Nancy Hunter’s donation letters to Historic St. Luke’s restoration

As a National Historic Landmark – as well as a National Patriotic Shrine – Historic St. Luke’s has wide appeal with its message of religious freedom in our country, as well as being a beautiful example of Colonial architecture and 19th century stained glass. 

Historic St. Luke’s Restoration Today


But the work isn’t finished, 60 years later. The Old Brick Church needs constant attention, and our 100-acre grounds requires two full-time staff members to maintain. Historic St. Luke’s is also proud to offer daily educational tours, as well as special events and academic lectures. All of this takes support from donors like you. 
Won’t you please consider giving to our Annual Fund today to help us fulfill our mission to preserve, protect, and promote this historic church landmark and its collections, documents, history, graveyard, and surroundings.  You can donate online at or follow Mary and Nancy Hunter’s example and mail donations to 14477 Benn’s Church Blvd., Smithfield, VA 23430. Right now, if you contribute at the $100 level or more – before May 10 – you will receive an exclusive invitation to our Restoration Day Reception on May 20, a catered affair under a tent on our grounds. We hope to see you there!


For more information contact Kristen Marchant at or call (757) 357-3367