Saint Louis, MO

Local Church Steeple Collapses Overnight

Kyle Smith

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The steeple at Centenary United Methodist Church in downtown St. Louis church partially collapsed during the storms on Saturday morning.

A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued for the St. Louis area with the possibility 60 to 70 mph winds is believed to have been a contributing factor in a statement by the St. Louis Fire Department.

At approximately 2 a.m., the St. Louis Fire Department blocked Pine and North 17th streets near the Centenary United Methodist Church where the damage occurred. Debris from the church was scattered along the road as well as various parking lots nearby. Capt. Garon Mosby with the St. Louis Fire Department said that the steeple narrowly missed parked cars in the parking lot. The fire department later used an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Response Team to look at aerial view of the damage. Crews then searched through the piles of debris with a thermal imaging camera to ensure the safety of everyone in the area. Thankfully, no one was injured.

Kathleen Wilder is the Pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church. Wilder shared that church services will be held at 11 a.m. Sunday today. Wilder said seeing the church without its cross and steeple took her breath away.

Wilder shared that she was able to salvage some of the steeple. She said that the cross is mangled and secure. She stated that mangled cross is probably a great symbol that even though the storm might mangle you, God's love remains strong.

According to the website for Centenary United Methodist Church, the church has been working for God in St. Louis for nearly 200 years. Records show members of congregation dating back to the 1820’s in St. Louis. However, the church was not officially established until 1839. Centenary Church made a commitment many years ago to support the downtown community, and we have remained committed to this mission throughout many decades of civic and cultural change.

Located at 16th and Pine in downtown St. Louis, the Centenary Methodist Church is one of three surviving buildings from the former Lucas Place neighborhood.  Constructed in 1869 of Prairie Limestone, the church was designed by Baltimore architect Thomas Dixon in the Gothic style.

Centenary is the oldest Methodist church in the city.  It underwent extensive renovations in 1961. 

If you would like to make a donation to the church, please contact the church for more information. This beautiful historic church is found in the heart of St. Louis. They also have an outreach for homeless people and serve lunch along with helping them find a job and get life back together.

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