St. Louis, Missouri is a city with a deep-rooted history, and many renowned figures and leaders have been connected to its churches throughout the years. From the early days of the parish of Saint Louis, fondly known as the “Old Cathedral”, to the present day, many significant events have taken place in the city's churches. The Old Cathedral was the only church of any denomination for local settlers until around 1816. It was here that Bishop DuBourg met with parishioners and received a promise to construct a new church.
Possible collaborators included well-known names such as Chouteau, Soulard, Papin, Cabanne, Gratiot, Mullanphy, Thomas H. Benton, William Carr, William Clark and Frederick Bates. On March 29th, the bishop laid the first stone of the church plaza on Second and Market Streets. Sacagawea's son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, was also baptized in the 1776 log church that once stood near the current site of the Old Cathedral. The Catholic Church of 1805 had a feeble grip on the city of St.
Louis and left behind a legacy of great dreams and many beginnings. The Old Cathedral has also been home to many prominent pastors who have been elected as bishops in several episcopal districts of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. One such pastor was Jordan Winston Early, a member of the Southern Methodist Church who left that group in 1832 to associate with the A. M. E Church. The Old Cathedral has also been associated with two religious and anti-slavery newspapers: The St.
Louis Observer and The Alton Observer. In 1912, dishes were made for these newspapers at the church and taken to a printing press owned by the church before being returned in a wheelbarrow. The history of St. Louis is full of remarkable figures and leaders who have shaped this place and left their marks in tangible ways. From martyrs to radical historians in the 1960s, these figures have forever solidified the place of the Old Cathedral among the most important in our community from a historical standpoint.