History

1905
Samuel Church was founded as a congregation of the Evangelical Synod of North America by clergy and laity who had emigrated from Germany. Farmers and domestic servants living in the Clayton area wanted to start a new church so they could worship God in the German language.

Uploaded : horse-and-buggy

The First Sunday school (9 children) and worship service (18 adults) was conducted on May 21, 1905. After renting the Mt. Olive Saengerbund Hall for two months, Samuel purchased the building (for $2,600) and remodeled it for a church/school/parsonage at 8012 Maryland. German school was held during the week.

Samuel began supporting Evangelical Mission work in St. Louis.

1906
The Women’s Society is formed.

1931-1937
The Congregational and Christian Churches merge (1931) and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches merger (1937). Preliminary talks begin in St. Louis about a merger between the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church.

1940
Purchased lot at Forsyth and Stratford as the future site of the church. Construction was postponed during WWII.

1941
Provided support and sanctuary for conscientious objectors, as well as supporting men and women in the U.S. armed forces.

1944
Lingering tradition of monthly worship services in German ends.

1945
First woman, Emma Schnarr, elected to the Samuel Consistory (governing board).

1947
First service in new church held on Palm Sunday, March 30. The address, 320 N. Forsyth Blvd., was selected not because of the numerical ordering on the street, but because this was the number of members at Samuel in 1947.

1957
The United Church of Christ is established after decades of planning and conversations as a union of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Church.

1965-66
Education building is built.

SamHistoryTest2

1967
Samuel Pre-Kindergarten School opens.

1969-1970
Racial tension spawned Block Partnership program, in association with residents of Compton-Grand neighborhood.

1975
Began partnership with residents of Cochran Gardens, remodeling room for recreation.

1985
Began partnership with Habitat for Humanity, St. Louis.

1991-92
Church addition is built, providing more meeting & fellowship space and accessibility for physically challenged persons.

1992
Began partnership with food pantries at Joint Neighborhood Ministry & Neighborhood Houses.

2002
Began supporting the Heifer Project with Calvary UCC.

2006
Samuel covenants to become an Open and Affirming (ONA) congregation, accepting all persons into the life and ministry of the congregation.

2010
Established Chinese Ministry and expanded Ministry to Youth, Children and Families.

Uploaded : kids-bags1

2013
Began partnering with First Presbyterian Church “A Room at the Inn” program to provide housing for homeless women and children once a quarter.

2014

Changed Church governance from a committee centered approach to Ministry Team approach that will allow more doing and less meetings.

 

* Adapted from
“Celebrating the Past,
Committed to the Future”
by Michael MacCambridge