The Connection began worship on Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008 with a light coat of snow on the ground. The concept began three years earlier when Zion United Methodist Church in Lemay, Missouri, began looking for a second site to begin a new worship service. Under the leadership of Senior Pastor Rev. Ann Rathert, and then Associate Pastor Rev. Tish Green, the search was narrowed down to South St. Louis City and consideration was given to beginning worship at the YMCA.
During that time, the part-time pastor at Mellow Memorial United Methodist Church located in Carondelet, South St. Louis, MO, retired and Zion was asked by the District Superintendent to provide pastoral leadership for the Mellow congregation of approximately 20 people. This began a series of discussions between Mellow and Zion concerning starting a new worship service in the Mellow building at 6701 Virginia Avenue.
As the conversation continued the concept became larger, more and more people began to get excited about the possibilities, and eventually Rev. Bob Farr, Director of Congregational Development of the Missouri United Methodist Conference, suggested the most promise of success lay in making it a whole new church start. After much prayerful consideration Mellow graciously voted to make room for the new church called The Connection under the leadership of founding Pastor Rev. Tish Green.
For the first year of worship a traditional service was maintained at 9:00am under the leadership of lay pastor Bob Stevens with the new contemporary service held at 11:00 am. Upon Pastor Bob’s retirement in 2009, the 9:00 am and 11:00 am congregations were combined to what became our 10:30 am contemporary worship service. Cathy Connoley was the founding Minister of Music serving eight years. Our second, and current Minister of Music is Ro Anderson. Staff members Pastor Joe Alway-Baker and Pastor Alerica Anderson played important roles in the first seven years of The Connection. The children, youth, and music ministries have particularly developed since inception, along with our Recovery and Transportation Ministries under the direction of Brad Rogers.
On March 25, 2012 The Connection officially constituted as a United Methodist Church. Haven Street, our ministry feeding the hungry, began soon after, under the leadership of Rich Sutton and with great support from St. Luke's UMC of Mehlville, Missouri.
In May 2016, The Connection became one Church with Salem United Methodist Church in Ladue, Missouri. We are now one Church with two locations: Salem in Mid-County, and The Connection in South City.
In July 2017, Rev. Katrina Drew became the Site Pastor of The Connection as Pastor Tish received a new appointment at First UMC of Festus/Crystal City.
This is just the beginning of what God intends to do in South St. Louis City. We invite you to be a part of writing the next chapter of history at The Connection Site of Salem Church.