St. Charles Church Moves from Main Street to Jail

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Photo by Erin Ellerbrock Members of the church enjoy a church service in the building.

By Erin Ellerbrock Lindenlink Staff

Photo by Erin Ellerbrock
The church sign outside of their building.

Since 2003, an old police station and jail has sat vacant in St. Charles County. This summer, the old St. Charles police station at 2645 West Clay was transformed into something completely different.

Matthias’ Lot church purchased the jail building in June and did a full renovation in two months, opening its doors for worship in August.

“When we were looking for buildings to house our group, our focus was 63301 and our options were limited,” said lead pastor Marc Sikma. “The first time I walked in here in January 2012 with a flashlight and broken glass, I knew it would take a miracle.”

This isn’t the first time Matthias has changed locations in its seven year history. The old police station is the fifth location for the church and may not be the last.

“The church is the people, not the space,” said Sikma. “It’s brick and mortar. We’re always open for what God wants us to do. If he wants us here for 40 years, then, yes, that’s great.”

St. Charles isn’t just a location for Matthias’ Lot Church, it’s a mission.

“Our heart is to love on the city,” said Sikma. “To share in its future and just to love every piece of it.”

Much of this work is done through We Love St. Charles, the charitable organization run by the church.  The organization gathers not only people from the church, but people from the community together to meet the needs of people in the community.

“Downtown St. Charles goes from very wealthy to poverty on the same street,” said Sikma. “We wanted to have diversity come together through We Love St. Charles to serve, especially single moms in the city.”

The church’s proximity to Lindenwood makes it easy for students to get to and from service. There’s an estimated 200 LU students attending worship every week.

“We love and support Lindenwood and it’s cool to work with them,” said Sikma. “But we’re not a college ministry. We’re a church with families with kids and college kids have the chance to be integrated into a family with others in their same stage of life.”

Photo by Erin Ellerbrock
Members of the church enjoy a church service in the building.

Currently at Matthias, there are a total of five staff members and an intern. In the past, this growth has lead to two church plants in the greater St. Louis area. Matthias planted Peine Ridge church in Wentzville and August Gate in St. Louis.

“We’ve gone in seasons. We grew for 4-5 years and planted two churches,” said Sikma. “After that, we were back down to about 120 people in 2010.”

Will there be more church plants in Matthias’ future?

“The church started with six people,” said Sikma. “We’re along for the ride. Any growth is God’s grace and not us.”

Matthias’ Lot Church has two corporate worship gatherings on every Wednesday night at 6:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. On Sunday morning, members of the church meet in homes around the city of St. Charles in Lot Families, where people can come together around the Bible, worship, prayer while serving the city.

For those who might be on the fence about trying to church out, there’s no pressure to come.

“We are a place to come with all your stuff, hurt and baggage,” said Sikma. “We fight gossip at every corner. Hear the truth and be loved before you hear the truth. If you ever want to come, you’re welcome.”