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The History of
Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church

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Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church began as a vision of Sister Zeathea Armstrong (Sister A), a former member of First Wesleyan Holiness Church, on the western end of St. Thomas, USVI. Her vision turned into a lively band of young, energetic Christians called The Mission Highway Workers (MHW). The group was comprised of about twenty persons. The objective of the MHW was to spread the gospel and win souls to the Lord. The countryside was ripe for witnessing so the missionaries turned their attention there.

Within one year, under the supervision of Sister A, the MHW saw the need to 'establish a work' on the east end of St. Thomas. Brother William Allen was selected as the Lay Leader of the pioneer church at Donoe Housing Project, under the directorship of then Pastor Patrick Thomas and First Wesleyan Holiness Church.

On April 20th, 1975, the first Sunday service was held, and Brother Newton Peters was the speaker. The following week, April 27th, the new Wesleyan Sunday school was launched, with Sister Verona Browne as the Superintendent. There were twenty-seven children in attendance.

The Wesleyan impact was growing, and the missionaries sought another location. Simultaneously, with the Donoe outreach, they began conducting meetings at the Hidden Valley Center with Brother Newton Peters as Lay Leader. At both locations, Sunday services began at 9:45 AM with Sunday School, and Worship Service at 11:00 AM.

As the two pioneer churches grew, the need for a larger, more permanent structure arose. On January 1st, 1984, a groundbreaking ceremony was conducted at 253 A & C Anna's Retreat. Pastor A. Wingrove Taylor was the speaker. By October 1984, the young church extended a call to Rev. Carlston Christie to serve as its pastor. At the suggestion of Pastor Christie, who was at this time serving at the Hidden Valley location, the groups merged. The first combined service was held on December 16th, 1984, at the Hidden Valley Center.
Original members of the Pioneer Church included: Brothers Lemuel Sampson and wife Prudence, Felix Peters and wife, Gwen, Newton Peters and wife, Irene, Erwin Peters and wife, Araminta, Charles Pondt and wife Dawn, Johnathan Challenger, Jonas and his wife, Sisters Verona Browne, Helen Jennings, Adina Dore, and Dorothy Alfred- Joseph.

While work continued at 253 A &C Anna's Retreat, the group sought God's face for a name for the church. The name Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church was selected, and the pioneers decided to begin services at their new location as soon as the first level was completed.
On August 18th, 1985, the Christie's were installed for service at Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church, 253 A & C Anna's Retreat. The first Local Conference was held on October 14th, 1985. The membership, at this time had risen to about forty-five.

Diligent work continued to erect the second level of the edifice which was slated to be the sanctuary. In 1989 and again in 1995, the new church was dealt two devastating blows because of hurricanes Hugo and Marilyn, respectively. These were disappointing and challenging times for the Saints and followers. However, they trusted their God to see them through. So, with God's ever-present help and the encouragement of many, the members continued plans for rebuilding the structure.

Following the devastations of the hurricanes, vice chair of the Local Board of Administration (LBA), Bro. Charles Pondt, led a determined mission to sure-up and complete the edifice. Under Bro. Pondt’s keen supervision, the work resumed on the sanctuary.

In July 1999, The Christies moved to serve in Antigua and Rev. James Isaac of First Wesleyan church had oversight of Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church, while Bro. Charles Pondt, Vice Chair of the LBA, was the minister in charge.

On July 28, 2002, Vice Chair Pondt, the LBA, and the members of Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church held the Dedication Service, the long-awaited first service, in the new sanctuary. On May 18th, 2003, Reverend Leroy Luke was installed as the church’s second Pastor along with his wife, Elzar. Today, more than twenty years later, they are still serving, faithfully

Faith Wesleyan Holiness is one of seven Wesleyan churches in the Virgin Islands District. The other churches are Beeston Hill, Trinity, Frederiksted and Midland Wesleyan Holiness Churches in St. Croix, USVI, Calvary Wesleyan Holiness Church in Tortola, BVI, and its "mother church", First Wesleyan Holiness in St. Thomas, USVI. It is also one of some two hundred Wesleyan Holiness Churches across the Caribbean that comprise the Caribbean General Conference of Wesleyan Holiness Churches. The Caribbean Conference is affiliated with the North American General Conference of the Wesleyan Church and part of the Wesleyan World Fellowship of Churches.

Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church is run by the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Caribbean Wesleyan Discipline or By-laws. Today the membership is about sixty, with many associates who have not committed to church membership.

During its almost fifty years, Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church has impacted the community through Sunday and week-night services, cultural celebrations, open-air services and open-air Sunday school, Kids Club, FWHC Puppet Ministry, Boy Scouts of America charter, Vacation Bible School, Gospel tracts distributions, the Food Bank ministry, home, hospital and elder care facilities visitations, Weddings, Funerals,  Baby Dedications, and donations to organizations such as American Cancer Society, Nana’s Baby Care, Chariot of Hope and Love Ministries, Caribbean Wesleyan College, Haiti, and Belize Wesleyan Holiness Church Building Fund.

“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:2

Reverend Leroy Luke and First Lady Elzar Luke


Rev. Leroy A. Luke is an ordained minister of the Wesleyan Holiness Church in the British and United States Virgin Islands. He serves multiple roles in the VI District of the Wesleyan Holiness Church. Currently, he serves as pastor of Faith Wesleyan Holiness Church (FAWHC) on St. Thomas: a position he has held for over fifteen years. As such, Pastor Luke is the chairman of the Local Board of Administration of FAWHC. He has also been serving on the District Board of Administration of the Wesleyan Holiness Churches of the Virgin Islands for the past nine years. Additionally, he is currently the Assistant District Superintendent, a position he has held for over two years.


Pastor Luke strongly believes that God’s hand has been on his life for many years. He often confesses that he could not have been where he is without the grace of God, and as such he is ever grateful!   Pastor Luke is committed to executing the mission statement of the church needs: “to evangelize the lost, to disciple the believers, to equip the church, and minister to social needs of the church and the community”. His message to the lost is, “You need Jesus Christ.” One of his frequent quote is, “God is chasing after you to share His love with you”. That message is deeply embedded within the salvation messages he preaches and his generous giving to the needy.  Pastor is a people-person who believes that God loves ordinary people and does extraordinary feats for His children. His greatest passion is his genuine desire to cultivate an atmosphere of love and unity in the church where God’s people can be edified in the Lord.  He often reminds the saints that, ‘We can trust God even when we can’t trace Him’.       


Finally, Pastor Luke is a family man who serves the members of Faith Wesleyan holiness church faithfully together with his lovely wife, Elzar. They are the proud parents of five children: Arnold, Sean, Shari, Aaron and Sharima Luke, and six grandchildren: Armani, Tenaji, Ariana, AJ, Aaminah, and Tarek.  Both Rev. and Mrs. Luke are very quiet individuals who enjoy doing Gods business without fanfare. They have been serving the Lord for almost forty years. The couple’s earnest desire is to continue serving the Lord by ministering his Word to others until He comes or calls them home.


To God be the glory!

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Equipping Believers

Alexa Young, CA

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