Wurdack Memorial Presbyterian Final Prayers and Thanksgiving Service
April 12 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The pandemic has tragically claimed another victim, Wurdack Memorial Presbyterian Church. Wurdack Memorial has been the center of a vibrant urban missionary field from its very roots. Wurdack was born in 1961 as the “child” of the congregation that formed the Victor Street Mission Church formed in 1903. The Victor Street Mission church was itself created from the mission field adopted by some very earnest members of the First German Presbyterian Church in South St. Louis.
From humble beginnings, this congregation of ordinary men and women has touched the lives of countless souls, offering as their mission statement says a chance for neighborhoods filled with the forgotten people to “find what a friend we have in Jesus.” The mission statement also includes their deepest desire to be “as light to the Lord that shines ever brightly.” Ironically, their namesake, Hugo Wurdack, who served 40 years as a lay preacher at the Victor Street Mission Church was the founder of Wurdack Light & Development, where he built, and lit St. Louis’ first public streetlights!
By the early 90s, Wurdack Memorial was a leading voice in Dutchtown in the fight against urban blight and absentee landlords. They were offering assistance and hope to the many immigrants that were being “dumped” into the Southside. From the beginning, their doors were open to the many stigmatized exiles society had created. It led, Fred Hale, a demographic expert from St. Louis University to claim, “Of all the Presbyterian churches on the South Side, Wurdack is one of the most viable and able to carry on the ministry.”
But as valiant and faithful as Wurdack sought to be, it suffered the loss of members and resources as so many of our inner-city congregations have experienced. And so today, the sanctuary sits vacant. While the flames of the good news they ignited in the hearts of their neighbors will turn on, the candles in the sacred space of Wurdack have slowly flickered out. Even so, the congregation knows that Wurdack Memorial lives on in the memory of their Savior. And at its dusk, peace settles over the building as the congregation knows it has fought the good fight.
The final worship service of Prayers and Thanksgiving will be held on Monday, April 12, 2021, at 3:00 PM. All are welcome.