Unification Sunday for Two St. Louis Churches

Sunday, February 4, 10:00 a.m.

All Saints Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church of the Ascension will celebrate the merger of the two congregations on Sunday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. A special dedication will be made as they form the new Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension. Bishop Wayne will be there for his pastoral visitation and for the celebration of their merged status.

Priest-in-charge Michael Dunnington writes, “The whole point of our being one church here in Northwoods is not so we can simply survive. But it is so we can share in God’s mission to this world…The number of ways our newer, stronger parish can bring the Risen Christ to our community is only limited by our imaginations and our energy as a parish family. There’s way too much work to do, so let’s get busy!”

A little history
All Saints parish is the oldest African American Episcopal church west of the Mississippi river. It began as a Sunday school in 1874. Shortly thereafter they became a mission, and in 1883, welcomed their first ordained priest as rector and became All Saints. The city grew and expanded and the church relocated several times to accommodate the growing congregation. For many years they held services in what was lovingly referred to as “the old church” located at Garrison and Locust. In 1957, to be closer to the westward movement of members, they moved to the Kingshighway and Terry location. And in 2016, they moved to current location in Northwoods as they prepared for the transition and merger with Ascension.

In 1887, Ascension parish began to grow from a small living room meeting on Cabanne Ave, where they adopted the name, Ascension. The members raised money, purchased a lot, and constructed a modest frame church at Cates and Goodfellow. The building was consecrated on Jan. 6, 1889. Years later, a larger brick structure was built, followed by a spacious parish hall. In 1927 the parish had 500 members. In 1953, Ascension merged with Holy Apostle Church and faced budgeting challenges and changing neighborhood demographics. Many members left for other churches. The building was torn down. By the 1970s a mostly African American congregation was established and in the ’80s, a small chapel was erected inside the still-standing parish hall. That building was condemned in 1999 and Ascension members held services at West Presbyterian. When St. Andrew’s Church in Northwoods disbanded, an offer was accepted to move to the current location on Lucas and Hunt. Ascension’s first service in the building took place on Feb. 8, 2004.

Today
There’s much going on at All Saints and Ascension, from a newly forming children’s choir, the food pantry on first and third Wednesdays, to considering ways to make the building accessible to persons with physical challenges and expanding the kitchen area. A quarterly newsletter just debuted, to be followed by a new website.

You’re welcome to join the celebration service on Sunday, February 4 at 10:00 a.m. at the Episcopal Church of All Saints and Ascension, 4520 Lucas and Hunt Rd. in Northwoods, 63121. Be filled with the spirit of Christ and celebrate this merger with special prayers and music.

 

*** Taken from Episcopal Diocese of Missouri weekly email "iSeek" ***
(History notes from All Saints and Ascension's recent newsletter)