Fairgrounds


Churches

St. Engelbert's parish in the northeastern portion of St. Louis was founded out of part of the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1891. At that time, the area was largely occupied by truck gardens and dairy farms. Founder of the parish was Rev. Anthony Pauck and the congregation's first meeting took place at the home of a parishioner on March 30, 1891. A six acre site at Shreve and Carter Avenues was purchased and on November 22, 1891, the first church on the site was dedicated. The surrounding neighborhood grew rapidly after the installation of streets and sewers. The present church was built in 1927 from Tudor Gothic designs by architect Henry P. Hess. It is of matt brick with Bedford stone trim and has a bell tower 97 feet high. The marble altar has two large mosaic panels representing the sacrifices on each side of it and is surmounted by a representation of the crucifixion. St. Engelbert's parochial school was organized soon after the church and presently occupies a building at 4720 Carter Avenue, which was completed in 1930.

Most Holy Rosary parish was organized in July, 1891, by Rev. Daniel J. Lavery. The first church, a small brick structure, was blessed by Vicar General Brady on December 20, 1891. About the same time, the parochial school was founded and placed in charge of the Sisters of St. Joseph. It had an enrollment of 230 in 1909. The present Holy Rosary Church, at the southwest corner of Margaretta and Clarence Avenues, was dedicated by Archbishop Glennon in 1923. It is early English Gothic in style and has a square battlemented tower which is reminiscent of medieval times. Holy Rosary parochial school now occupies a buildinq at 4320-26 Marqaretta Avenue.

Memorial Boulevard Christian Church at Kingshighway and Labadie Avenue was formed in 1929 as the result of a merger of the Kingshighway and Second Christian churches. The Second Church had purchased a new site at Lee and Cora Avenues in 1928, but since this was so close to the Kingshighway Church it was decided to join the two churches in the present building. Kingshighway Church had built the structure in 1918 when it moved from its former location at Marcus Avenue and Hammett Place, where it was known as the Hammett Place Church.

The need for an English Evangelical church in St. Louis was strongly felt about the turn of the century as most services were conducted in German. In October 1901, such a mission was organized with services at the Central Y.M.C.A. at Grand and Franklin. In December 1901, the congregation moved to Garfield Hall at 13th and Wright Streets. This mission was the forerunner of Bethel Evangelical Church, whose site at Garrison and Greer Avenues was purchased in 1902. Construction began in 1904 with completion of the Gothic style edifice in 1908. In 1931, Bethel Church was the second largest of its denomination in the City. About 1963, the church, now known as Bethel United Church of Christ, moved to 14700 New Halls Ferry Road. Its old building is now the home of the Fairfax Baptist Church.

St. John's United Church of Christ at Grand Boulevard and Lee Avenue had its beginning in 1852 when a small group of Germans rented a former Baptist Church at 12th and O'Fallon Streets. In 1854, they purchased a site for their own church at the southeast corner of 14th and Madison Streets, and a brick Gothic structure was completed there in 1855. During the pastorale of Rev. Louis Haeberle (1862-79) a parochial school was started, but was discontinued in 1913. About that time the neighborhood around the old church underwent changes, necessitating removal to a new location. In 1916, the present site was acquired, but the new church was not completed until 1923. It is built of rough faced brick with terra cotta trim and seats about 500 persons. Bethany Evangelical Church, which was located at Red Bud and Rosalie Avenues for many years, was organized in 1867 in a hall at 22nd Street and Franklin Avenue. It later worshipped in a small chapel at 24th and Carr Streets and on March 14, 1875, dedicated its own church at 23rd and Wash Streets. This area had changed by 1914 and in that year the site on Rosalie Avenue was purchased. Dedication of the new Tudor Gothic Church occurred on January 10, l915. In 1970, Bethany United Church of Christ merged with Peace Church and moved to 11952 Bellefontaine Road. The old building is now occupied by the Northern Baptist Church.

In 1885, the Salem Evangelical Church was organized and began services the next year in a house at Marcus and Margaretta Avenues. The congregation occupied a new church building at Shreve and Margaretta in October, 1898. This structure was occupied until May, 1962, when the present Salem Evangelical and Reformed Church at 2490 Pohlman Avenue in Florissant was dedicated. St. Peter's A.M.E. Church presently occupies Salem Church's old building.

Immanuel Lutheran Church, at Marcus and Lexington Avenues was formed in 1847 as an offshoot from Trinity Church. Its first church was erected in the next year at Eleventh Street and Franklin Avenue. In 1865, the original frame Immanuel Church was destroyed by fire and three years later their second edifice was dedicated at 16th and Morgan Streets. This was a brick Gothic building with a 200 foot high spire. Encroachments of business in the neighborhood made a westward move necessary by 1919. A chapel was built at the present site on the grounds of the Western Lutheran Cemetery and dedicated on July 25, 1920. The present church was completed in 1928 and is a clerestory type dominated by a massive tower. Immanuel School was started in 1844 at Seventh and Cole Streets and later met in the Franklin Avenue church's basement and also had its own building at the Morgan Street location. Western Lutheran Cemetery, adjacent to the present church, was originally laid out in 1863.

Members of Bethlehem Lutheran Church who resided in the Fairground district, petitioned for a mission in their area in 1870. A school was soon opened and in 1872 a lot at Natural Bridge and Spring was purchased. A frame chapel was erected and in July, 1874, the mission there was organized as Bethany Church. The chapel was used jointly with Grace Church until that congregation moved to Wellston in 1879. Soon thereafter, the present site at Natural Bridge and Clay Avenue was purchased and an imposing Gothic church was dedicated there in 1883. Bethany Lutheran's present church was completed in September, 1929. During construction, services were held in the adjoining gymnasium, erected in 1927. The new church is a fine example of the clerestory Gothic type, built of brick with limestone trim. Its school is located at 3621 Clay Avenue. Another Lutheran church of long-standing in the Fairground area is Pilgrim, which has been situated at Fair and West Florissant Avenues since about 1910.

Bowman United Methodist Church at Carter and Athlone Avenues had its beginning in 1879, when a mission was opened in a tent at Allen's Grove on Broadway near East Grand Avenue. Advent of cold weather caused the mission group to rent a German Presbyterian church on 19th Street south of Grand Avenue, and the name of Water Tower M. E. Church was adopted. In 1881, a lot at the northwest corner of 20th and Obear was acquired and a brick Gothic church was erected. A move to a larger church at Grand and Carter was made in 1904, at which time the name was changed to honor Bishop John W. Bowman. As many members subsequently moved westward into the O'Fallon Park district, the need for a move in that direction became apparent. The present site was purchased and despite some financial difficulty, the church was completed in May, 1920.

The Sixth Church of Christ Scientist originally worshipped in Mount Moriah Masonic Hall at Natural Bridge and Garrison, occupying its present building at 3736 Natural Bridge in the late 1920s.

Among other Protestant churches in the Fairground area is the Cote Brilliante Presbyterian, which has been located at Marcus and Labadie since before 1904 and the Eastern Star Baptist Church at 3121 St. Louis Avenue.


Image - St. Engelbert's Roman Catholic Church
Image - Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church
Image - Memorial Boulevard Christian Church
Image - Pilgrim Lutheran Church
Image - Lee Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1910
Image - Sixth Church of Christ Scientist at 3736 Natural Bridge Avenue