Pastor Aeneas Williams

The Spirit of the Lord Family Church (The Spirit Church), pastored by NFL Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, will celebrate the completion and Grand Opening of its new, permanent church location in St. Ann 2-5 p.m. Saturday, January 27.

The celebration will be held at the new church location: 915 Northwest Plaza Dr., St. Ann, MO 63073 (in the old Toys ‘R Us Building). A number of elected officials, police chiefs, friends and Spirit Church members have been invited to the Grand Opening, along with members of the media. Members of the community also are welcome to participate in this free celebration.

The Spirit Church was founded in 2007 by Pastors Aeneas and Tracy Williams. In its 10-year history, the church has grown from several members to now over 400 in attendance each Sunday.

They held their first service, along with their four children in their basement in 2007. After 11 months in the basement of the house, they moved the ministry to the Crowne Plaza on June 1, 2008. They then rented larger spaces at Christ Memorial Baptist Church in Cool Valley, the JC Penney Building on the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ campus and then McCluer South – Berkeley High School before moving to their new permanent space.

Pastor Aeneas first ministered to teammates with the Arizona Cardinals before games in 1992. This work grew into a weekly study including his teammates, their wives, significant others, and friends.

The new location will not only be a worship center, but also a place for the Bridgeton and St. Ann communities to connect, said Pastors Aeneas and Tracy, who said they are excited “to be a part of the redevelopment in the St. Ann and Bridgeton area.”

The Spirit Church offers two Sunday worship services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. each Sunday.

“Each of our Sunday services offers children’s programs from toddler to middle school,” they state on their website. “The Kingdom Kids programs impart the Word of God in exciting and practical ways. Our Glory Girls and Champion Warrior tween programs from 6th to 8th grades, allow the youth to experience the Word of God in an atmosphere designed just for them.”

For more information on The Spirit Church, email Info@TheSpiritChurch.org, call (314) 260-7363 or visit thespiritchurch.org.

Black Church’s role in education

James J. Hankins of Wilmington, North Carolina, sent The American an excerpt from his book "What We Blacks Need To Do” about the Black Church’s role in education.

“If your church (you) is accused of being Christlike, is there enough evidence for a jury to find it (you) guilty? Most black churches have a well-built exterior with unique design furniture, accessories and climate-controlled interiors. It is a very expensive, under­-used, ‘consecrated’ building. Some have a church hall with a full commercial size kitchen for serving and sometimes selling dinners,” he writes.

“The tables in the hall would be perfect for the neighborhood children to do their homework on and receive tutoring. The kitchen can be used to serve our children a good tasty low-fat snack and to teach them how to cook simple food items. This would be a safe place for our children to spend quality time together without TV, games or cellphones.

“Being in their own neighborhood would eliminate the need for transportation. The parents could walk to the church to pick up the children and the older children could walk the younger ones home. This would give the older children some responsibility and the younger ones a new friend. This would cut way down on “bullying” because all children would have a big brother and sister.

“I close with two questions for you that only you can answer truthfully: Is your church guilty or not guilty of being Christlike? What will you do to help save our children?”

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