Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Louis’ Central West End is the first site in Missouri to be named to the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in LGBT history.
Trinity is recognized in particular for the years 1969 to 1993, which include its early support of gay rights, its embrace of LGBT parishioners and community members, and its compassionate response to the first AIDS patients in the 1980s.
The recognition is part of an effort by the U.S. Department of the Interior to document a more complete story of the gay rights movement, a project announced in May 2014 by Secretary Sally Jewell.
The NRHP is the U.S. federal government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects deemed significant to American history and worthy of preservation. Currently there are 93,500 sites across the country, with LGBT sites numbering less than 20.
“Trinity, as a progressive Episcopal church, continues today as an energetic supporter of LGBT worshippers,” said Rev. Jon Stratton, rector of the church.
A formal dedication ceremony, including the installation of a plaque on the exterior of the church, located at 600 N. Euclid Ave., will be held on Saturday, June 13. Bishop-elect Deon Johnson, whose ordination is planned for April 25, will speak at the event. Johnson will be the first openly gay bishop to serve in the Diocese of Missouri.
“Trinity’s longtime support for the LGBT community dates back to its serving as the meeting space of St. Louis’ first gay rights organization —The Mandrake Society in 1969,” said Steven Brawley, founder of the LGBT History Project in St. Louis.
Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in 1855, has stood at the corner of Euclid and Washington Avenues since 1935. Its rector is 35-year-old Jon Stratton, a social justice activist involved with the Clean Missouri campaign and a member of the leadership team with Missouri Jobs with Justice.
Trinity is a member of the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri (www.diocesemo.org). For more information about Trinity — including Facebook and Instagram links and service times – go to the church website at trinitycwe.org.