Manchester United Methodist Church
The following record sets include data from two separate congregations that eventually joined together. Manchester United Methodist was formed when Trinity Methodist Episcopal South merged into Manchester Methodist Church. See the history section below for more information.
The following indexes and records from this congregation are available:
In 1988, long before we obtained the actual records, some information from this congregation was indexed by society volunteers and appeared in the St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly. (See the individual pages for specific citation details.) Some records in this index contain additional information from the records above, although some may also contain errors due to transcription. We suggest you look at both sets of records for the most accurate information.
StLGS is following state guidelines for privacy wherever possible. Births/baptisms online must be at least one hundred years old; confirmations eighty-six years old; marriages forty-five years old; and deaths fifty years old. Additional indexed data from these records may be available; please come to the StLGS office to view it. As privacy limits permit, society volunteers will post additional data online.
Established: 1826, still open in 2015.
Manchester Methodist is one of the oldest Methodist churches in St. Louis. The records reflect the names of many early residents. Some of these same families are buried in the church cemetery.
Circuit rider preachers served Methodist families that settled in the Manchester area in the early 1820s. John Ball, a pioneer from Virginia, purchased a wool-carding machine house on Manchester Road from James Neal and refurbished the building by adding seats and a balcony. He donated the building to the church in 1826 to serve as the congregation’s first permanent church building. In 1837, the congregation built a small wood frame church on the northwest corner of Manchester and Woods Mill Road.
In 1844, the Methodist Church divided and the congregation became part of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. In 1856, the congregation began construction of a red brick church to replace their old frame church. The families first held services and Sunday school classes in the basement until they completed the new chapel in 1859.
Between 1878 and 1907, a smaller church, Trinity Methodist Episcopal South, located east of Olive Street Road on what is today Chesterfield Parkway East, burned down, and its members were invited to worship at Manchester Methodist. Hence, some of the early records from this church contain both names.
The combined congregation refurbished the original building in 1959 and added a new educational wing adjacent to the church in 1965. The historic old church sanctuary was rededicated in 1969 after the addition of a new sanctuary. In 1983, the old church building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The church members undertook another renovation project for the historic church in 1993, to restore the roof and front steps to a more original appearance. Workers also removed chimneys that were not part of the original design. A new 1200 seat sanctuary was completed in 1999, after which, they renovated the second sanctuary for use as a fellowship hall. The congregation continues to use the historic chapel.
Address: 129 Woods Mill Rd, Manchester, Missouri 63011
Location 1837–1859: 129 Woods Mill Rd, Manchester, Missouri 63011
Location 1826–1837: 129 Woods Mill Rd, Manchester, Missouri 63011
Location 1969–: 129 Woods Mill Rd, Manchester, Missouri 63011
Location of Trinity Methodist Church, 1878-1907: Olive Street Road east side at Chesterfield Parkway East, Chesterfield, Missouri, 63017 (This area today is very built up; location is approximate.)
Pioneer families from Kentucky had established a burial ground in the 1850s just north of the current Methodist Church. Although the members used the old cemetery, the church did not purchase the property until 1880. When John Ball, the founder of Ballwin, died in 1859, the family buried him in the Ballwin City Cemetery. When Manchester Road construction affected the cemetery, workers moved his remains to the Manchester Church Cemetery. The layout of the original cemetery provided narrow roadways to allow easy access to gravesites. The small roadways are no longer used and are now available for members to use as additional space for graves.
For access to the Manchester United Methodist Cemetery, click here.