Some of us have been members for over 70 years, while others have been here only a few years or a few months. There is no shortage of surprises once you get to know us, and there is no limit to what we can do together in the Spirit of the Lord.
Rev. Kathleen Henrion joined Affton as our Transitional Pastor on March 23, 2020. She moved up her start date to be able to minister to and with the community during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In eighth grade God called her to ministry and life hasn’t been quite the same since. She grew up in Maumee, OH (outside of Toledo), and was blessed to receive the support of her family and church.
This call has led her to study film production at Ball State University and receive a Masters of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary. She has pastored churches in Jesup, Iowa; Holt, Michigan; and most recently, Gerald, MO. She has done short-term or freelance work for churches in Ohio, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Virginia.
She is inspired by the way our creator God, created each and everyone one of us in God’s own image. She believes that by coming to know ourselves as well as those who seem “other,” we are better able to see God in all God’s fullness and we are able to respond to this amazing gift of creation through our creativity.
She enjoys exploring the kid-friendly side of the St. Louis area with her kids, bicycling on the area’s many trails, playing board games with her husband, watching Survivor as a family, and finding ways to knit any/everything.
The Henrions live in Arnold, MO, where David grew up. David works with the Institute for Community Alliances in St. Louis, which supports non-profits assisting people experiencing homelessness.
You can contact Pastor Kathleen at PastorHenrion@gmail.com
Excerpts from the St. Louis Dispatch1:
Affton Presbyterian has been part of the Affton community since it was chartered in 1943. The congregation’s first chapel was the former Hilltop Tavern, which occupied the church’s next site at 9217 Gravois Road.
They used the tavern at the beginning. A chapel was built in 1948. The [next] church was built around 1960.
More and more people from St. Louis were starting to move into the suburbs. Much of South County was still rural. There were farms, and the area had not yet been built up.
In those days, people didn’t go long distances for church or shopping. Everything was in the neighborhood. Pastor Smiley had the idea of bringing the church out of the city and to the people living in Affton.
Many of the current members of the congregation grew up in the neighborhood [of the Gravois location] and attended Affton Presbyterian.
In discerning both our congregation’s desire for a future focused on mission and unencumbered by the maintenance of our aging church building, we decided as a church that God was calling us to sell our building. In June of 2016, that sale became complete. After much prayer, we have three simple guidelines to follow God’s will. We are called to:
-stay Presbyterian, and
-stay in the Affton community.
If you read the Bible, you will notice that God’s people move around a lot. Abraham followed the Lord’s call from his father’s land all the way to the shores of Canaan. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, through the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. The apostle Paul spent years and years crossing back and forth across mountain ranges and the Mediterranean Sea.
After 18 months of searching for a new home, the Lord led us to “nest” with our neighboring congregation, Calvary Presbyterian Church, near the intersection of Lindberg and Lemay Ferry Rd. In July of 2020, after many years of faithful ministry, Calvary closed, and the ownership of the property transferred to the Presbytery of Giddings Lovejoy.
At this writing in August of 2020, we are currently dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are finding ourself in another sort of wilderness wandering as in-person worship poses risks to the health of our congregation and our wider community. We are currently worshipping online and welcome all to join us, as we continually strive to be faithful to God’s call to serve, wherever we may worship.
1Scott Bandle, “Affton Presbyterian Prepares for 70th Anniversary,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 24, 2013, https://www.stltoday.com/suburban-journals/metro/life/affton-presbyterian-prepares-for-70th-anniversary/article_1fa42786-cf1f-5ca8-9436-19213e93e468.html.
What We Believe
Affton Presbyterian Church is a part of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Within the larger Christian family, Presbyterians are part of the Reformed tradition that emerged during the Protestant Reformation under the teaching of John Calvin. Our name “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word “presbyters” which means “elders.” It describes the way our people elect councils of elders to lead the church.
Theologically, our tradition emphasizes fidelity to the Bible and the sovereignty of God. We take a humble view of human nature—it is not our righteousness that makes God love, but God’s love that makes us righteous. Our lived journey of salvation is an expression of gratitude for what God has already accomplished through Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.