Historic Business: Union Church Opened Doors to Several Florissant Residents

This week, we deviate a bit from historic homes to give you insight into a Florissant institution.

Until the mid-1800s, Florissant was a Catholic settlement served by the French Catholic Church of St. Ferdinand. Union Church, at 646 St. Francois, served as a cornerstone for several religious denominations in the city for many years.

It wasn’t until January 1857 that the Board of the Village of St. Ferdinand deeded land to five trustees for the purpose of erecting a church for all the protestant denominations to share.

The property was at the southwest quarter of Block 25 at St. Francois and Lafayette. The trustees were allowed to sell off as much of this land as necessary to raise money for the building and its furnishings. The corner of the lot was sold where a general store was built. Known as Wiethaupt’s Dry Goods & Groceries for many years, it has been since the 1960s.

The exact date of the erection of the church is not known, but it is believed to have been between 1890 and 1895. For many years, the church building was shared by the Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian denominations, which depended on circuit-riding preachers for their services.

This system worked well for many years, but by 1940 the membership began to decline. The building fell into disrepair and was even closed for some time.

In 1948, was formed and was able to purchase the church building. They made much-needed repairs and improvements to the delight of the entire community. A basement was dug and a foundation was put under the building making room for a kitchen and Sunday School classrooms.

Through the years, it has been home to other denominations, but for the past 22 years it has been the , owned by John and Lynda Ortwig. The little church continues to serve the community well and is one of Florissant’s most valued landmarks.

Information provided by Historic Florissant.

Elizabeth O'Fallon May 03, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I used to attend church there as a little girl. It was called Faith Fellowship back then. Good memories!


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