Our History

The First Congregational Church of St. Louis was organized on January 12, 1852 and constituted at a service of worship on Sunday, March 14, 1852 with a membership of seventy-seven. The congregation had its first church home in a building located on Sixth Street just north of Franklin Avenue. Dr. Truman Marcellus Post was the minister.

The United Church of Christ is a denomination resulting from the union of the Congregational-Christian and Evangelical & Reformed churches in the 1950′s. This ecumenical approach brings some unique strengths to our church. Each congregation is self-governing and self-supporting.

The first watershed event in our history began in 1847 at the Third Presbyterian Church, when the Reverend Dr. Truman Marcellus Post was called to be minister. Dr. Post agreed to come from Illinois to St. Louis only when he was assured of his right to free speech, and only for a term of four years, as he felt his radical and anti-slavery views were likely to be controversial in a slave-trading city. Further, Dr. Post stated that he was a Congregationalist in principle and policy, and insisted on the self-determination of the local church.

At the end of four years, the majority of the church desired to retain Dr. Post as their minister. Unknown to Dr. Post, they resolved by a vote of 62 to 24 to organize a Congregational church with him as minister. As a result, the first worship service of the First Trinitarian Congregational Church and Society was held on March 14, 1852. He became Minister Emeritus on January 1, 1882. 87 years later, in January of 1969, the First Congregational Church of St. Louis voted to officially affiliate with the United Church of Christ. The June 1969 letter of acceptance from the Missouri Conference welcomed the First Congregational Church into the United Church of Christ and reassured us of our continued freedom and autonomy.

On March 14, 2001, our church celebrated a momentous occasion when we kicked off a year-long celebration to honor the 150th Anniversary of the church. Festivities began with a formal dinner dance at the University Club Tower. Dr. William Danforth, former Chancellor of Washington University, was the guest speaker. The next Sunday morning we held a worship service downtown at the Grandel Theater, one of the earlier church buildings of the congregation.

The family of Truman Marcellus Post, first minister of First Congregational, was in attendance. A theme was established at this worship service: “Through the Red Doors,” since our church has been known by some in the neighborhood as “the church with the red doors.” Red doors were constructed and throughout the year, members walked “through the red doors,” portraying influential people from the church’s past.

Former ministers, the founder of the Women’s Fellowship, and many other people came through the red doors, helping the congregation learn of its history. The closing events featured a service with many clergy from around the area and the Missouri Mid-South Conference officials, a dinner at the church and an in-house talent show. The 150th year of our church was a wonderful time for members to learn about or re-familiarize themselves with the church’s past as well as to take a sense of pride for all that our church has accomplished in the last 150 years.

Meet First Congregational