Most Episcopal churches have just one name. But The Church of St. Michael & St. George is special because it has two names, and has ever since 1928, when St. George’s Episcopal Church in St. Louis joined with The Church of St. Michael and All Angels in Clayton to establish The Church of St. Michael & St. George as we know it on today’s current site.
St. George’s Episcopal Church in the City of St. Louis dates back to 1845. St. George’s Church had three locations as it followed the westward movement of the city’s population. The Church of St. Michael and All Angels was organized in 1913 and located on the edge of the 1904 World’s Fair fairgrounds, just west of what is now Forest Park. The merger of the two parishes to create The Church of St. Michael & St. George occurred in 1928. We’ve been going strong ever since.
A History of St. Michael & St. George
1845-1928: The original site of St. George’s Church was located on the northwest corner of Locust and Seventh Streets. The 83 years spent at this address reflect the life of a church in a tumultuous river city.
1912-1928: Bishop Tuttle, the fourth Bishop of Missouri, conceived the idea of St. Michael & All Angels, which initially took the form of a mission congregation on the campus of Washington University. Miss Susan Mount, a wealthy parishioner at St. Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church of New York City, donated fifty thousand dollars to start the Church.
1912: The first vicar of St. Michael & All Angel’s, the Rev. George Norton, arrived.
1913: On Christmas Day, services were held for the first time in the English gothic building.
1914: The Rectory was built and paid for by Bishop Tuttle. The Christian Education program boasted one hundred children, and expansion of the Parish was contemplated.
1926: The Rev. Dr. Karl Morgan Block became Rector. The congregation outgrew the Church’s seating capacity. Parish leaders once again contemplated several plans for enlargement. Then, hearing of St. George’s Church’s imminent dissolution due to demographic shifts in population and the economy, St. Michael and All Angels’ invited the older congregation to merge with them.
1928: In October, the Parish was rededicated as The Church of St. Michael & St. George. In order to enlarge the Church to about twice its original size, the 1700-ton, two-story building was raised from its foundation and moved. The Church was enlarged to provide additional seating for 660 by extending the nave three bays to the west. Then, the Church and Parish Hall were connected by the new three-story Jay Herndon Smith Memorial Tower. Today, the Altar from St. George’s Church is used today in St. Mary’s Chapel, with the cross and candlesticks from St. Michael & All Angels. The processional crosses from both of the former parishes are still used for each Sunday’s morning services.
1938: The Rev. Dr. Block became Bishop Co-Adjutor of the Diocese of California. The new Rector, The Rev. John Francis Sant, would lead The Church of St. Michael & St. George for the next 25 years.
1963: The Rev. Jack E. Schweizer, who died in 1977, succeeded The Rev. John Sant.
1969: The St. Michael School of Clayton was founded to provide grace-filled education for children of the parish and community.
1974: The Spencer Truman Olin family contributed the Petty-Madden organ and twelve-rank antiphonal organ to the Church.
1978: The Rev. Edward L. Salmon became the fourth Rector of The Church of St. Michael & St. George. During this time, much-needed office space was added, as well as the Page and McAfee Memorial Gardens, the Gallery Walk, and St. George’s Chapel.
1990: The Diocese of South Carolina elected The Rev. Edward Salmon as Bishop.
1991: The Rev. Kenneth J. G. Semon was called as fifth Rector and served for five years.
2000: The Rev. Andrew J. Archie was called to lead this current incarnation of the parish into the new millennium.