Church of the Advent and St. Thomas Deaf Church are open and affirming churches.
ALL ARE WELCOME!
We are located at:
9373 Garber Road,
Crestwood, MO 63126
St. Thomas is led by Deaf leaders.
Leaders do what?
+ Baptisms and Preparation
to become a Christian.
+ Confirmation (when our Bishop visits
and education to prepare for it)
(Faithful couples of any orientation may
be married in the Episcopal Church.)
+ Funerals for anyone.
St. Thomas Deaf Church has been serving the St. Louis Metropolitan area since 1876.
First located at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis and then moving to Grace Episcopal Church in Kirkwood, MO, before our partnership with Church of the Advent in Crestwood, MO.
Throughout the 145+ years of St. Thomas existence, they have never had a building of their own but instead rented space from other churches. Also, throughout St. Thomas' history there have been long stretches without a Vicar (priest) that worked at the church. Instead, traveling priests fluent in American Sign Language (ASL), some deaf themselves, would come to the St. Louis area and gather the deaf for Sunday services (See more about this by clicking on "About Us and Our History"). However, for the past 15 years, St. Thomas has been fortunate to have a part-time priest, the Rev. Dr. Emily Hillquist Davis, who learned sign language in order to serve the members of St. Thomas in their own language.
After 14 years with St. Thomas, Rev. Emily was offered a full-time position as rector of The Episcopal Church of the Advent, located in Crestwood, Missouri. Emily's prayer was that Advent would allow her to bring St. Thomas with her so she would not leave them without a priest once again. However, much to Rev. Emily's surprise and delight, the Search Committee for Advent, invited St. Thomas to follow her to Advent, she didn't need to ask.
On October 3, 2021, Rev. Emily held her first service at Advent and all of the members of St. Thomas went to Advent to support her. They were not sure they would be back the following week when they walked through the doors that morning but at the end of the service and the day, many were willing to give it a try.
The decision facing the members of St. Thomas was not an easy one. They loved their church, the people, the space where they were already worshipping, but they also loved that they had a priest who was fluent in ASL.
On December 14, 2021, the Vestry of St. Thomas held a meeting and the congregation voted to either stay where they had been located at Grace Episcopal Church or continue with Rev. Emily as their vicar and move to Church of the Advent. The vote was in favor of Church of the Advent.
St. Thomas did not "merge" with Church of the Advent but instead the two churches are partners. Each church has its own vestry and will keep their finances separate. This will allow St. Thomas to be independent and to be led by Deaf lay ministry as it has been for the past 145+ years.
We look forward to seeing what this next chapter of St. Thomas Deaf Church holds. We want to thank Rev. Emily for continuing to be our Vicar and to the members of Advent for welcoming St. Thomas as "Partners In Christ."
MORE HISTORY WILL BE ADDED SOON - ESPECIALLY FOR CHURCH OF THE ADVENT
St. Thomas Deaf Church
c/o church of the Advent
9373 Garber Road
Crestwood, MO 63126
Copyright © 2023 St. Thomas Deaf Church & Church of the Advent - All Rights Reserved.