10362 Old Olive Street Road
Creve Coeur, MO
My Easter Sunday thoughts keep going back to this seemingly vacant church building. It’s located in a part of Creve Coeur that is off the beaten path, practically back alley, though the neighbor across the street, Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli, has constant traffic because it’s a desirable destination.
This simple, compact brick building with modest mid-century modern flourishes was, according to the corner stone blocked by aggressive shrubbery, erected in 1960 as Immanuel Baptist Church. The St. Louis Metro Baptist Church Assoc. indicates that Pastor Benny J. King once led services at this address, but is vague about the present day situation.
The St. Louis Genealogical Society lists this congregation as having moved from 5859 Cates Avenue to Creve Coeur, and indicates that it’s still open. But there is no address or signage to identify the place from the road, no signs of life, and no regular lawn care…
…the landscaping is so overgrown one can barely see the church from the street, and it was mostly impossible to use the set of stairs from the parking lot to the entry. So, is it vacant, or just unkempt? Recently abandoned or the groundskeeper is on hiatus?
St. Louisans are now used to gigantic Catholic Churches sitting vacant across the city and inner-ring suburbs, their presence still casting a heavy vibe in its neighborhood. But this little Baptist church has been camouflaged into limbo, which is a sad way to celebrate Easter.
SPRING 2012 Update
Someone has made a huge effort by clearing out the forest that had grown around it. And now that it’s clear, I could see the cornerstone and confirm the church was erected in 1964. Click to see new photos of the church cleaned up.