Benton Park


The St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church at 1933 Sidney Street was originally planned to replace the older Church of the Assumption at Eighth and Sidney, which was interested in moving westward because of the changing industrial character of its vicinity. St. Agnes Church was dedicated on December 6, 1891, but did not replace the Assumption parish as Archbishop Kenrick changed his mind about abandoning the older church. The St. Agnes Church was renovated during the 1920's and is known for its encouragement of sports in its parochial school.

The Russian Orthodox Church of St. Michael the Archangel, on Ann Avenue at Gravois, was erected in 1927. Before the organization of the Russian parish in 1909 its members met jointly with the Greek Orthodox congregation. After its inception the Russian group met in store buildings until 1910 when it purchased a house at 1125 Hickory Street, which was used until the present structure was occupied.

Epiphany United Church of Christ at 2915 McNair Avenue was formed in 1964 through a merger of the Ebenezer and St. Andrew's congregations. The Ebenezer church, which was organized as an Evangelical congregation in 1888, has occupied the present building since it was erected in 1891. It became an Evangelical and Reformed church in 1934 when those denominations merged and when the Congregational churches joined in 1957 the combined denomination was designated as the United Church of Christ. The present site of Epiphany Church was occupied in 1875 by St. Paul's German Methodist Church which was organized in 1874 as a mission of the Eighth Street German Church.

St. Marcus Evangelical and Reformed Church at 2111 McNair Avenue was founded in 1843 and held its first service in the old Benton School on Sixth Street near Locust. In 1848, two church buildings were erected, one for St. Peter's Church in north St. Louis and the other for St.Marcus at Jackson and Soulard Streets, later Third Street and Lafayette Avenue. St. Marcus Church remained at that location until its move to the present location at McNair and Russell Avenues in 1914. A new gymnasium and educational building was added to the church in 1936.

St. Marcus Church has operated a cemetery from its earliest days, the first one being located on Carroll Street in the 1840's. A tract on Gravois Road at Kingshighway was acquired and the present old St.Marcus Cemetery was opened there in 1856. It eventually fell into clause because ofthe lack of perpetual care and the last burial occurred there in 1959. New St. Marcus Cemetery on Gravois west of the River Des Peres was incorporated in 1897.

Among other Protestant churches in the vicinity are Zion Baptist at 2100 Ann Avenue, New Hope Baptist at 2867 McNair and the Olive Branch Bible Presbyterian Church at 2201 Sidney Street.