St. Louis City church hopes to pick up and relocate physical building

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Pastor Jonathan Davis grew up at Grace Baptist Church. He followed in his father’s footsteps and now leads the congregation at the church located in the shadow of The Dome in Downtown St. Louis.

But the church has faced many challenges over its 60 years. It was originally located at Pruitt-Igoe and then moved to a location on Cass Avenue. They were forced to leave that location in 2016 when the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency picked the North St. Louis site for it’s new campus.

“We have had to be displaced a few times, we had to make room for NGA,” said Pastor Davis.

They moved into a church located at 7th and Cole. It was a former Catholic Church. But now their lease is up and they have to move again, this time to make way for more development.

The property is owned by Paul McKee and the Northside Regeneration LLC. It’s in what is known as the Bottleworks District. It’s an area of development that has staggered for years. The City of St. Louis approved a plan a decade ago to move this development forward but it still sits empty and is an eyesore for those driving into Downtown. News 4 reached out to Northside Regeneration for information on the future of the site. The alderman for the area north of Downtown says he does not know the plan.

But Davis says he’s not worried about moving. He just wants to take the church with them.

“They said you can have anything out of the building you want. I said can we have the building? And they said you can have the building,” he explained.

So that’s they’re plan. A company says it’s doable but will cost between $750,000 and $1 million. They already have land on North Grand in the Jeff Vanderlou neighborhood where it can go. There’s a petition to St. Louis leaders to make it happen and they’re hopeful they might be able to get funding from some of the Rams settlement money.

A spokesperson for the City of St. Louis says no decisions have been made on how those settlement funds will be divided up yet.

Davis says they have until the end of the year.