Emil Ricken was admitted a probationary member of the Finnish Annual Conference held in Turku in 1913 and was assigned to mission work in Tartu, where German speaking services were started. His work in Tartu was stopped by the outbreak of World War I. It was only at the Mission Conference in Kaunas in 1923, when Johannes Karlson was assigned to Tartu. Karlson founded the Methodist congregation on 28 October 1923. The first church building was consecrated in Vallikraavi Street on 1 September 1926.

On 1 March 1931 the Tartu  congregation II was founded at the Temperance Society that was later united with the Methodist congregation I. The Tartu church was destroyed on 12 July 1941 and the people started to meet in different rooms.

On 7 September 2000, upon the encouragement of the World Director of Evangelism H. Eddie Fox, the World Methodist Council decided to build a new sanctuary on the lot in Vallikraavi Street that was a property of the congregation. The cornerstone was laid on 6 June 2002 and the first part of the church complex was consecrated on 17 November 2002. The major support for the new church building was from the Connecting Congregation Dunwoody, Ted and Kaye Reissing, Mary Watson, Alan Lindsey, and the North Georgia Annual Conference.

The connecting congregation of the St. Luke congregation in Tartu is the Dunwoody United Methodist Church in Georgia.


  1. Johannes Karlson 1923–1926
  2. Karl Kuum 1924–1925
  3. Aleksander Kuum 1926–1931 (Tartu and area)
  4. Jaan Jakobson (Jaagupsoo) 1929–1931 (Tartu and area)
  5. Aleksander Kuum 1931–1938 (Tartu Ist and area)
  6. Jaan Jakobson (Jaagupsoo) 1931–1932 (Tartu 2nd and area)
  7. Jaan Jakobson (Jaagupsoo) 1932–1933 (Tartu 2nd)
  8. Vassili Prii 1933–1935 (Tartu 2nd)
  9. Hugo Oengo 1935–1936 (Tartu 2nd)
  10. Ferdinand Tombo 1938–1941
  11. Eduard Hark 1941–1942
  12. Aleksei Poobus 1942–1944
  13. Kusta Sotnik 1944
  14. Harri Haamer 1944–1945
  15. Eduard Suurhans 1945–1962
  16. August Saulus 1962–1963
  17. Andres Kirjamägi 1963–1966
  18. Ants Soode 1966–1972
  19. Päivo Kasekamp 1972–1987
  20. Andrus Norak 1988–1991
  21. Villu Eenkivi (pastors dep.) 1991–1992
  22. Leonhard Kangro (pastors dep.) 1992–1994
  23. Andrus Norak 1994–1995
  24. Priit Tamm 1995–1998
  25. Raivo Nikiforov (pastors dep) 1998
  26. Villu Eenkivi (pastords dep.) 1998–1999
  27. Priit Tamm since 1999