Southwest


Churches

The oldest Roman Catholic parish in the Southwest Area is that of Our Lady of Sorrows. Its name is particularly appropriate for its origin, which took place in the Cemetery of Saints Peter and Paul. The parish was founded by Rev. S. A. Stolte on October 20, 1907, and its first services were held in the cemetery chapel. A small parochial school building was built for the parish by a real estate agent in 1908. On October 20, 1911, a combination church, school and hall was dedicated by Archbishop Glennon. At that time, only 70 families comprised the parish, which covered a broad area. In later years, the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. George, and St. Mary Magdalen were created out of the large parish of Our Lady of Sorrows. The present Romanesque church at 5831 South Kingshighway was dedicated on February 12, 1927. In style, it is a replica of a typical Italian basilica, with narthex, clerestory and campanile. It is built of buff brick with red terra cotta trim. The colonnaded front portico was an innovation among St. Louis churches at the time of its erection. In the interior the church is notable for its flat coffered ceiling and its mosaic altar and dome. Built at an original cost of $250,000, the church was designed by architect Adolph F. Stauder. The present parochial school at 5841 South Kingshighway was opened in 1952 and in 1963 a new rectory was built at 5020 Rhodes Avenue. In September, 1919, the parish of St. Mary Magdalen was created from a portion of Our Lady of Sorrows parish. It was formed by Father John J. Thompson to serve the Southampton area. Father Thompson purchased a residence in the district in 1920 for use as a parochial school. The present school at 4323 South Kingshighway was erected in 1925 and enlarged in 1956. The Gothic church edifice at Kingshighway and Bancroft was completed in 1940.

The parish of St. Joan of Arc was created in 1941 and in the same year its parochial school was opened. The school was rebuilt in 1948 and considerably enlarged in 1966. The present church at 5801 Pernod Avenue was dedicated in 1959. The school is located at 5821 Pernod and the convent at Sulphur and Pernod, was completed in 1956. The parish of St. Gabriel the Archangel was organized in May, 1934, with about 150 families. Rev. Francis H. Skaer was installed as its first pastor. Initial services were held in the Willmore real estate office at Nottingham and Donovan, until the completion of a one-story school building on Tamm Avenue near Nottingham in June, 1935. A basement auditorium in the school was used for worship at that time. The parish school opened in September, 1935, and in 1939 a second floor was added to the structure. The school was again enlarged by the addition of a new wing in 1946. Ground was broken for the present church at Nottingham and Tamm Avenues on March 5, 1950, and it was dedicated by Archbishop Ritter on October 28, 1951. The white stone contemporary Gothic edifice was designed by architects A. F. and Arthur Stauder. While traditional ecclesiastical design features have been retained, the structure's plan is unique in that trusses have replaced the usual columns in the nave. This provides for a fan-shaped seating arrangement with unobstructed visibility from all parts of the sanctuary. In 1955, a new convent was completed at Tamm and Murdoch Avenues and in 1962, the new parish hall and gymnasium was erected.

In 1950, the parish of St. Raphael the Archangel was created from a portion of St. Gabriel's and Our Lady of Sorrows parishes. Ground was broken on January 21, 1951, for a combination school and church building at Jamieson Avenue and Highfield Road in St. Louis Hills. This building was used for church services until the present church building was dedicated in 1966. At that time, the old church space in the school was converted into a gymnasium. Architects for the Georgian Revival style church edifice were A. F. and Arthur Stauder.

About 1914, Lutheran families in the Southampton subdivision began a move to organize a church. After a canvass of the neighborhood by students from Concordia Seminary in 1916, a mission was opened there by the Synodical Mission Board. A lot was purchased at Macklind Avenue and Itaska Street, but it was later traded for the present site at the southwest corner of Neosho Street and Brannon Avenue. The congregation's first home was a portable chapel, its dedication on October 8, 1916, marking the inception of Hope Lutheran Church. After being served by students from Concordia, the church's first pastor. Rev. Martin Engel, took charge in January, 1917. In 1921, a parsonage was built and the chapel was moved to the rear of the lot to make room for the future church. A basement chapel was dedicated on April 27, 1922, and a Christian day school was opened in 1923. After razing the basement chapel, ground was broken for the present church on April 27, 1930. The combined church and school building was dedicated on January 18, 1931. It was designed by Theodore Steinmeyer in the Lombard Romanesque style, in a departure from the prevalent Gothic style of Lutheran churches in St. Louis. It is built of brick with limestone trim, embellished with tile. An open belfry, surmounted by a cross, dominates the structure.

Ascension Lutheran Church at 6501 Eichelberger Street, at Donovan Avenue, was established in 1936. The congregation held its services in the Willmore Organization's real estate office building at Nottingham and Donovan Avenues until the construction of the present church edifice in 1940. The existing school building was erected in 1951, with additions in 1956 and 1958.

Timothy Lutheran Church was founded in 1927 and its first building was a frame chapel that was completed at the southwest corner of Ivanhoe and Fyler Avenues in August of that year. Between 1948 and 1960, services were held in a ground level parish hall at 6718 Fyler. The present church was completed in 1960 and a new organ and air conditioning were installed in 1962. Additional frontage on Fyler has been acquired for parking and future expansion.

Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 3600 Hampton Avenue at Pernod, began as a Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1311 California Avenue in 1894. A move to the present location was made in the late 1940's when the first section of the present church building was completed in 1947. The church, which is a member of the Lutheran Church in America, erected a new section to its edifice in 1962.

The formation of a Baptist church in Lindenwood was the result of a meeting of interested members in a house at 6939 Sutherland Avenue in May, 1932. Lindenwood Baptist Church was organized on July 7, 1932, and built a basement church in the area, which was used for five years. In 1937, the congregation purchased the former Lindenwood Turner Hall at 6932 Lansdowne Avenue and converted it to religious use. It is now used as the church gymnasium. Lindenwood Baptists' present sanctuary was dedicated on June 26, 1955, and in 1962 it dedicated an adjacent three story educational building.

The Watson Terrace Christian Church at 4205 Watson Road was formed in September, 1952, as the result of a merger between the Clifton Heights and Winona Christian churches. Clifton Heights Christian Church was the older of the two predecessor churches. It was organized in 1907 by several potential members who resided in the sparsely settled vicinity of Tamm and Marmaduke Avenues. A small meeting house was donated by members and in 1908, the first pastor, Rev. Elihu Harris, was installed. He served as pastor for 37 years until his death in 1945 at the age of 93. In 1909, an addition was built with material that was salvaged from the World's Fair. Three years later a kitchen, baptistry and basement were added. After World War II, it was decided that the facility was inadequate, and upon learning that the Winona Christian Church was in similar straits, an invitation to discuss their mutual problems was extended. This eventually resulted in the merger of the two churches. Winona Christian Church was organized in May, 1932, and held its first services in the Harmony Masonic Temple at 4621 South Kingshighway. The new church was named Southampton Christian Church. In October, 1932, a store building at 4618 Macklind Avenue was rented to house the church, but the congregation was forced to vacate the premises in October, 1935. Later, it met at 4619 Macklind until a building at Winona and Hereford was purchased and repaired. Dedication services were held there on November 1, 1936, at which time the name of Winona was adopted. By 1950, the building proved to be too small and the congregation joined with the Clifton Heights Church in 1952. Until a new church could be built, the combined groups met at the Alhambra Grotto for the next two years. A site at Watson Road and Winnebago Street was purchased and the present name was adopted because of its location in the Watson Terrace subdivision. A new educational building was dedicated there in March, 1955, and served as the church's home for the next ten years. In November, 1961, the architectural firm of Frederick Dunn and Associates was hired to prepare plans for a new church sanctuary. Dedication ceremonies were held on May 24, 1964, and in 1969, the Prayer Chapel, designed by Nolan L. Stinson, was completed.

Immanuel Congregational Church, on the northeast corner of Jamieson and Marquette Avenues, was founded in 1891. Its first meeting place was in a residence at 6739 Hancock Avenue which was later remodeled for religious purposes and had a bell tower added to strengthen its church-like appearance. The present church building at 3960 Jamieson Avenue was completed in 1925. It was remodeled and a new facade was built about 1962.

Holy Ghost United Church of Christ is one of the oldest German churches in St. Louis, dating back to 1833, when it held its first services in a church at Fourth Street and Washington Avenue. Several moves were made during the church's early years; first to Seventh and Clark in 1840, then to Eighth and Walnut in 1860, and to Grand and Page in 1895. It remained at the latter location until 1923 when changes in the neighborhood made another move necessary. For the next few years, services were held at Kleekamp's Hall at Grand and Arsenal and at the B'nai El Temple in the Shaw area. The first unit of the present church at 4916 Mardel Avenue was completed in 1927, at which time it was a congregation of the Evangelical Synod. The present sanctuary was erected in front of the older unit in 1950. Holy Ghost Church formerly operated the Picker Cemetery, on the present site of Roosevelt High School, from 1846 until 1917. Hope United Church of Christ started in a frame building of the Nottingham School in 1943. In 1948, a chapel was built at the present site at Tamm Avenue and Eichelberger Street. The present sanctuary at that location was dedicated in 1958.

A congregation with a long and varied history is the Union United Methodist Church at Watson Road and Pernod Avenue. It traces its origin back to 1845 when Methodism became divided over the issue of slavery. A few adherents of the northern branch formed Ebenezer Chapel, which fought a losing battle for survival and finally disbanded in 1861.

In January, 1862, a group of prominent Methodists purchased the former Union Presbyterian Church at Eleventh and Locust Streets and organized the appropriately named Union Methodist Church at that location. During the Civil War, an American flag that was flown from the church required an armed guard to prevent Southern sympathizers from hauling it down. In 1882, the church moved to a new building on "Piety Hill" at Garrison and Lucas Avenues. Despite a bad fire in 1911, the church remained there until 1915 when another move was made to a former Congregational church at 3610 Delmar Boulevard. A changing neighborhood and dwindling attendance brought about another move in 1952, when Union Church merged with Christ Methodist Church at the present location. Christ Methodist was formed by members of the Harlem Place Church after that church was forced to move because of the widening of Jamieson Avenue. Harlem Place was a subdivision developer in 1888 by a former Methodist minister, Leander Hallock, who retired in 1875, came to St. Louis and opened a real estate company. Harlem Place, which fronted on the south side of Fyler Avenue from Ivanhoe to the Frisco Railway, extended southward beyond Hancock Avenue. As in all of Hallock's additions, a lot was reserved for a church, in this case at the southwest corner of Jamieson and Fyler. The church was named for the subdivision, which in turn received its name from Hallock's early association with the Dutch district of Harlem in his home state of New York. The first religious services were held in a house at 6927 Fyler Avenue, but by May, 1890, a frame church was consecrated. While damaged by the tornado of May 27, 1896, the church was rebuilt and continued to grow and ten years later a parsonage was added. Further growth required enlargement of the building in 1923. Upon learning of the City's plans to widen Jamieson Avenue, the church purchased its present site and in 1945 the architectural firm of Froese, Maack and Becker was engaged to draw plans for the new building. Ground was broken for the first unit on June 26, 1949, and the church was incorporated as Christ Methodist in the following October. After the merger with Union Church in June, 1952, it was announced that the name Union would be adopted for the combined congregation. On February 21, 1954, the cornerstone for the new sanctuary unit was laid with Bishop Ivan Lee Holt officiating. In 1959, the former parsonage was converted into an educational unit and in 1967 another unit consisting of a gymnasium and classrooms was added.

Southampton Presbyterian Church was organized on July 13, 1913. At first it worshiped in a plumbing shop at Devonshire and Macklind Avenues. In 1916, a brick chapel was built at the present site at Nottingham and Macklind. Between 1925 and 1942, the basement of the present church was used for religious purposes. The present church sanctuary was dedicated in 1942 and an educational unit was added in 1959.

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church at 5905 Loughborough Avenue was organized at a meeting in a frame building at the Busch School on June 16, 1949. Its members were originally from the Southampton Presbyterian Church. From 1950 until 1959 services were held in a building at 6933 Hampton Avenue. St. Andrew's present modern church edifice was completed in 1960.

The beginning of St. Mark's Protestant Episcopal Church can be traced to St. Andrew's Mission, which began holding services in Willmore's real estate office in 1936. On September 27, 1936, the Mount Calvary Episcopal Church at 3661 DeTonty Street, combined with the mission and services were then held in a portable building at the Nottingham School. In 1938, St. Andrew's Mission and Holy Innocents Church, then at Morganford Road and Tholozan Avenue, joined to form St. Mark's Memorial Mission. In 1939, the present St. Mark's Church at 4712 Clifton Avenue was completed from plans by the architectural firm of Nagel and Dunn. It was one of the first modern style churches in the United States and its facade has sculptures by Sheila Burlingame. St. Mark's became an official parish of the Protestant Episcopal Diocese of Missouri in 1947.

The Second Church of Christ Scientist at 5807 Murdoch Avenue, was originally located at 4234 Washington Boulevard, where it remained until 1935. Between 1935 and 1941, services were held at the Harmony Masonic Temple at Kingshighway and Murdoch. In March, 1941, Second Church occupied its present home at Murdoch and Sulphur Avenues.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at 4720 Jamieson Avenue, is the first church building erected by Mormons in St. Louis. This colonial style edifice was completed in 1949 at a cost of $165,000. Before occupying their new home, the Mormons here had a rather uncertain existence dating back to 1831. During the period of their great westward migration to Utah in the mid-nineteenth century, many of them stayed here for sometime, numbering as many as 4,000 about 1850. The modern revival of the Mormons in St. Louis occurred in 1896 when they began holding meetings. Their first church was in a store at 4265 Easton Avenue in 1907. In 1916, they purchased an old church at 5195 Maple Avenue, where they remained until the erection of their new home in St. Louis Hills.

St. Thomas Romanian Orthodox Church at 6501 Nottingha Avenue was completed in 1959 at the former location of Cyrus Crane Willmore's real estate office building. The congregation was located at 5624 South Compton Avenue from 1947 to 1959 and prior to that, it had been at 1427 Missou Avenue since 1941.


Image- Our Lady of Sorrows Church at 5831 South Kingshighway.
Image- St. Mary Magdalen Church.
Image- Church of St. Gabriel the Archangel, Nottingham and Tamm Avenues.
Image- St. Raphael the Archangel Church at East Jamieson Avenue and Highfield Place.
Image- Hope Lutheran Church Neosho and Brannon Avenue.
Image- Ascension Lutheran Church at 6501 Eichelberger Street.
Image- Gethsemane Lutheran Church 3600 Hampton Avenue at Pernod.
Image- Immanuel Congregational Church at Jamieson and Marquette.
Image- Hope United Church of Christ at 6273 Eichelberger Street.
Image- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4720 Jamieson Avenue.
Image- St. Thomas Romanian Orthodox Church, 6501 Nottingham Avenue.