This year marks many historical and notable 50-year anniversaries: the tragic, unforgettable assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., two Americans walked on the moon, and Woodstock. This year will also give a nod of honor and respect to one of St. Louis' most out-reaching, effective, and vibrant ministries. St. Michael's Temple of the Expanded Mind, Inc. will celebrate its 50-year anniversary and St. Michael's United Spiritual Church, Inc. will celebrate 49 years, concurrently.
On July 7, a grand celebration to commemorate the golden 50-year anniversary of St. Michael's Temple will take place during the 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. services, at the church's headquarters, 6520 Arsenal Ave., St. Louis MO 63139. Many invited guest pastors, community leaders, choirs and musicians will be on-hand to mark this event with euphoric praise of this phenomenal spiritual leader and his church's ministry. All are invited to attend. This is an open-door celebration.
Founded in St. Louis' North City in 1969, St. Michael's Temple is "a spiritual encounter with a Spirit-led leader" – namely, Archbishop Michael A. West Sr. Preaching at local houses of worship since the tender age of 6 – a full 66 years – West launched a dynamic church ministry 50 years ago that is yet in full vigor. West, who holds several degrees in theological and philosophical studies, is a noted Bible scholar, counselor, educator, keynote speaker and conference leader. A spiritual conference is held at the St. Louis-based headquarters annually.
West is the lead shepherd of 22 churches nationally, primarily in the Midwest region, but also, East and South. Hundreds of students have matriculated through the St. Michael's Institute of Higher Learning, an interdenominationally accredited theological school, which West established and where he has served as president for 47 years. The institute challenges students and is a place where they are encouraged not to accept the status quo. The Institute has been responsible for granting degrees in various fields of study, such as, theology, church and business administration, history, and ecclesiastical research.
West imparts knowledge and wisdom to countless young ministers and pastors on issues related to church growth and development, business management, leadership and team building. He has employed considerable skills to train and mentor many of the area's even senior pastors and other church leaders to be more intentional and effective in their local church community – to create a favorable and lasting impact on today’s society for generations to come, for the cause of Christ.
West wears many hats, and he wears them all very well. He has been a licensed funeral practitioner for the past 53 years and has worked in the funeral industry for 58. West has either been or is currently the president or a serving member on boards too numerous to list. A superlative husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, his legacy will be continued into infinity.
St. Michael's Temple is a vital ministry, a beacon of hope, that has fed the hungry through their own high-end food pantry, and distributed tens of thousands of food baskets over the years. The ministry has aided consistently the disenfranchised of our city, has fellowshipped and collaborated with government officials, civic leaders, community outreach organizations, such as Better Family Life, Inc., pastors and their churches – of all denominational persuasions.
“This is where the expanded mind of this ministry comes into focus,” West notes. The unique worship experience at St. Michael's Temple incorporates many of the basic elements and tenets of Catholicism, Lutheranism, and Methodist.
St. Michael's has an amazingly open-minded and liberal personality, an institution based on a feeling of community. The values of fairness, concern for our fellowman, the underprivileged, the poor and the spiritually bankrupt, are the very foundation of this ministry.
“In recent times, as our country is challenged, the St. Louis metropolitan area has turned to the clergy for support. The soul of the emerging movement has been Archbishop Michael West,” said James Clark, VP of Better Family Life's Community Outreach.
“Through his visionary leadership, a body of over 60 pastors came together under the banner of ‘Common Crisis, Common Ground.’ This movement of neighborhood churches has supported such initiatives as Operation Clean Sweep, The St. Louis Metropolitan Area Gun Violence De-Escalation Centers, The Power of Employment Neighborhood Church Job Fair Series, and Grill to Glory. These efforts are organizing neighborhoods and providing neighborhood churches a platform for sustained leadership.”
Other events to celebrate the 50-year anniversary will take place throughout the year.