St. Louis had become a prime hub for immigrants in 1867, primarily those coming from Northern Europe. This movement, along with the push toward westward expansion, created the backdrop for a large group of Lutherans who were looking to worship in English. It was this group that would ultimately form a charter for the beginning of St. Mark's Lutheran Church in March of 1867.
During the early years, this group would grow and soon needed a permanent home. The first church was built on Elliot and Wash streets with the cornerstone being laid on September 6, 1868. Construction was completed in 1869. The church was dedicated in February 1869 and served as a gathering place until 1880.
By 1877, the growing congregation required larger facilities, but many attempts to sell the property were met with failure until January 1880. In the same year, the cornerstone was laid on a new church location at Cardinal and Bell avenues. On October 1, 1882, the new church was dedicated and St. Mark's was on its way to being one the largest and most influential congregations in the synod.
Move to Clayton
Prior to the first World War, the church experienced a definite shift in their membership roles as did other churches in the downtown St. Louis area. Population trends shifted westward from the city limits. The congregation voted to sell the facility at Cardinal and Bell and relocated west of Forest Park in the emerging community of Clayton.
St. Mark's purchased a lot in Clayton on what now is 6337 Clayton Road. In September 1919, the cornerstone was laid. By 1920, construction had progressed to the point that the new facility could be utilized for services. The building was dedicated on April 1921.
In 1955, a major fundraising project began to remodel the church facility due to overcrowding. This involved expanding one wall out to the back alley behind the church and effectively turning the worship space 90 degrees from facing east-west to north-south and doubling the seating capacity. The newly remodeled worship space was dedicated in April 1956.
The congregation continued its faith journey and in 1967 celebrated its 100th anniversary. The facility continued to change and grow with the purchase of a new pipe organ in the 1980s and another major remodel to the worship space in 2006.