Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal School is a coeducational parish day school located at the corner of Belvedere and Peabody in beautiful Central Gardens, the heart of Midtown Memphis. This historic residential district dates back to the early 1900's. Grace-St. Luke's has more than 500 students in PK through 8th grade.
Although GSL marks its founding in 1947, the beginnings of the institution actually go back to the year 1919. In that year, the Reverend Bartow B. Ramage, Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, started a small parochial school in the little red clapboard Parish House that was on the present site of the school's auditorium. Reverend Ramage was in charge of religious education, and Mrs. Ramage, his wife, was a teacher in the school. They began with an enrollment of approximately 15 children. In 1923 the couple's daughter Miss Ethel Ramage joined the teaching staff after her graduation from Columbia University. Unfortunately, Rev. Ramage's health began to fail and shortly thereafter the family moved to Gulfport, Mississippi. Miss Ramage closed the school in 1924.
In 1940, Grace Church merged with St. Luke's Church, and the newly joined churches held their first joint service as Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Thanksgiving Day. In 1947 when St. Mary's Episcopal School for Girls closed its doors, former kindergarten director Mrs. Griffin (Lorena Webber) Walker opened a program at Grace-St. Luke's Church under the direction of the Reverend Dr. Charles Stuart Hale. From 1952 onward, grades were added. The name was changed from St. Mary's Kindergarten to Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Day School, and in 1954 the nursery class and junior kindergarten were added to the fledgling institution. In 1954 there were approximately 65 students in the kindergarten and first grade. By 1960, an expanded Grace-St. Luke’s Day School was issued its first charter, and grew to become a K-12 school by the mid-70s.
In the ’80s, the school settled into a Kindergarten through Middle School structure (grades PK-8) to better focus on educational and leadership opportunities for Lower and Middle School students. GSL acquired Snowden Field and the Miss Lee’s property, enriching the school's offerings for the families who wanted to become part of our community. In the early ’90s, Grace-St. Luke's opened the Evans Building that links the church and school administrative offices to the Middle School and gymnasium.
In August 2009, GSL expanded Miss Lee's Preschool to add two classrooms for new sections of prekindergarten and junior kindergarten. In April 2010, the school opened the new Anchor Center building in the center of campus, which features a full-size gymnasium, updated cafeteria and library, a Lower School music room, Middle School and Lower School art rooms, Middle School science labs, and a greenhouse. In August 2013, we opened a new grade level at the Preschool for two-year-olds (Little Lukers). During the summer of 2014, Miss Lee's was renovated to add an additional classroom, bringing the total number of classrooms at Miss Lee's to 9.
The current Lower School and Middle School offices and classroom facilities are adjacent to Grace-St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The Preschool division is housed just east of the new Anchor Center in the historic Miss Lee's property. The school also owns property approximately one mile to the east, Snowden Athletic Field, which features a field house and serves as the home football, baseball and softball field, and also serves as home base for all church athletics.