Who We Are
We are a congregation of God’s people
Ladue Chapel is a congregation of God’s people, welcoming all, illuminating faith, serving God and neighbor, and making a difference on behalf of Christ.
We celebrate the following values in our service to God and one another:
- Community – Working to foster a community of hospitality where all members, friends and visitors feel welcomed, loved and affirmed.
- Curiosity – Striving to use spiritual curiosity to discover God’s message for us today and how we reach outside the window of Ladue Chapel.
- Generosity – Giving freely of time, talent and treasure.
- Compassion – Serving others in our midst and beyond with love and understanding.
- Beauty – Glorifying God and feeling the awe of God’s presence in worship through the abundant use of God’s gifts of art, music and nature.
- Joy – Celebrating God’s gifts and being inspired in different ways to share God’s blessings.
Worship is central to our life as a faith community. If we did nothing else, we would still gather to sing praises to the God of our salvation! Worship is our core activity. It defines us, comforts us, educates us, challenges us, transforms us, and empowers us. It is the one activity in which every member of our church participates. Worship is indispensable. Through our worship of God, we serve as stewards of the gospel. We ensure that the truth of God’s redeeming love made known to us in Jesus Christ is proclaimed to all generations. That truth continues to change lives, restore hope, build community, and promote justice and peace through the power of faith.
Faith Formation is also an integral part of our identity at Ladue Chapel. We seek to provide serious, meaningful learning opportunities for disciples of Christ to engage their faith in their daily lives. Our courses are meant to be challenging, faith renewing, and life transforming. As a faith community, we commit ourselves to a lifelong journey of discipleship as our faith seeks understanding, and our understanding seeks faith.
Aware of our biblical call to share the love of God in the world, Mission serves as the outreach program of this congregation. Our programs are local, national, and international where our members can serve by providing both financial and volunteer support for projects designated by the congregation.
Want to know more or still have questions? We would love to talk! Call the church office at 314-993-4771 ext 0
What We Believe
We are part of the Reformed Tradition, which bases its faith in the premise that we are “reformed and always being reformed,” that is, we are continuing to learn and adopt God’s ways and God is still teaching us God’s ways. Or said another way, God isn’t finished with us yet!
One of the more current documents in our Book of Confessions is the Brief Statement of Faith,
where we say:
In life and death we belong to God.
Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
The love of God,
And the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.
We trust in Jesus Christ,
Fully human, fully God.
Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:
preaching good news to the poor
and release to the captives,
teaching by word and deed
and blessing the children,
healing the sick
and binding up the brokenhearted,
eating with outcasts,
and calling all to repent and believe the gospel.
Unjustly condemned for blasphemy and sedition,
Jesus was crucified,
suffering the depths of human pain
and giving his life for the sins of the world.
God raised Jesus from the dead,
vindicating his sinless life,
breaking the power of sin and evil,
delivering us from death to life eternal.
We trust in God,
whom Jesus called Abba, Father.
In sovereign love God created the world good
and makes everyone equally in God’s image
male and female, of every race and people,
to live as one community.
But we rebel against God; we hide from our Creator.
Ignoring God’s commandments,
we violate the image of God in others and ourselves,
accept lies as truth,
exploit neighbor and nature,
and threaten death to the planet entrusted to our care.
We deserve God’s condemnation.
Yet God acts with justice and mercy to redeem creation.
In everlasting love,
the God of Abraham and Sarah chose a covenant people
to bless all families of the earth.
Hearing their cry,
God delivered the children of Israel
from the house of bondage.
Loving us still,
God makes us heirs with Christ of the covenant.
Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child,
like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home,
God is faithful still.
We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
everywhere the giver and renewer of life.
The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,
sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,
and binds us together with all believers
in the one body of Christ, the church.
The same Spirit
who inspired the prophets and apostles
rules our faith and life in Christ through Scripture,
engages us through the Word proclaimed,
claims us in the waters of baptism,
feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation,
and calls women and men to all ministries of the church.
In a broken and fearful world
the Spirit gives us courage
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, Come, Lord Jesus!
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
In 1940 and 1941 a few families gathered in private homes in the area to hold Sunday School. The first steps toward the building and congregation of Ladue Chapel as we know them today were very slow.
In 1941 Mr. and Mrs. Woodson K. Woods circulated the first petition, which was presented to the Presbytery in December of 1942, requesting the establishment of a church in some convenient location in the Ladue area. By May 1943, the core group of families began to “borrow” the chapel at Mary Institute on Warson Road. One member recalls Sunday School in the gymnasium surrounded by mountains of equipment.
In September 1943, the Executive Committee (Boyle Rodes, George Weber, Jr., Minard MacCarthy, C. A. Brandon, Woodson K. Woods, Jr., Robert Rodgers, and Carl Bacon) petitioned the Presbytery of St. Louis to organize. They set an optimistic budget of $11,060.00 for the first year and notified the residents of Ladue of the opening of a community church to be founded under Presbyterian government. The Organization Service held at Mary Institute on November 7, 1943, boasted an attendance of 151 charter members and a Sunday School enrollment of 121. W. Davidson McDowell was installed as pastor, and Ladue Chapel was officially launched.
At the same time, the first Elders were elected. They were Woodson K. Woods, Jr., Dr. Ivan C. Nicholas, C. A. Brandon, Enno D. Winius, R. Wesley Mellow, and George E. Mellow (Clerk). The elected Board of Deacons were Martin E. Galt, Jr., W. B. Whitton, Jr., George A. Griffin, Frank A. Hunter, Jr., James H. Woods, Robert B. Rodgers, Melchior A. Wagner and Carl M. Bacon.
The new congregation searched for a building site and, in September 1944, purchased the former home of U.S. Senator George H. Williams, located on more than four acres of land on Clayton Road in Ladue. On the property stood three buildings, including the 14-room home that would be the Chapel House, a five-room cottage and four-car garage (Carriage House). The Chapel House served as a parish center for all weekday activities and meetings, as well as church offices, pastors’ studies, and quarters for the associate pastor and custodian.
Before the building and grounds could be occupied, however, a work day was held to clear the overgrowth and clean the house. This was followed by a picnic supper served by the Women’s Association.
The enthusiasm to build a church was frustrated by wartime restrictions and shortages. Construction of the Sanctuary, Fellowship Hall, and the first portion of the Educational Building could not begin until August 1948. The only bank to consider Ladue Chapel for a loan was St. Louis County Bank! Their faith paid off in January 1968. Surrounded by a group of early and charter members, Trustee President Donald Bryant happily put the torch to the last remaining note of indebtedness on Ladue Chapel.
In October 1948, the cornerstone for the Sanctuary was laid. Its contents included:
• Book of Common Worship
• Charter Membership of Ladue Chapel
• Roll of Present Members
• Minutes of the Congregational Meeting of Ladue Chapel called by the Commission of the Presbytery of St. Louis
• Report of Missionary Council of Federation
• Articles of Association of Ladue Chapel
• Names of Building Planning Committee
• Names of Building Committee
• Front page of newspaper dated October 3,1948
• Church School enrollment as of September 30,1948
• Program of Women’s Association for 1948–49