What Is Preserved Wisdom?

Preserved Wisdom is a history depository. The epicenter of the project is the history of Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Louis, Missouri. The church was established in 1844 and has called five Saint Louis locations home since then. The scope of the Preserved Wisdom has evolved as more has been learned about the church and its place in the history of the City of Saint Louis.

1. Sermon Archive:

The initial intent of Preserved Wisdom was to develop a sermon archive – a place to store and present the sermons delivered by senior pastors of the church.  The archive currently includes more than 1450 sermons sorted by date, pastor and scripture reference. Sermons from 1970 to 1981 are preserved as copies of the original manuscripts, scanned and saved as PDF documents. The sermons from 1982 to the present have been transcribed as audio MP3 files and can be streamed through a computer or mobile device.

We believe the preaching of God’s Word is inspired and timeless and worthy of preserving.


2.  Central History:

  • Since the church’s inception in 1844, many historical artifacts have been saved. Our goal is to preserve these Historical Artifacts through better organization and by scanning the most important to digital files presented as PDF documents. This archiving and uploading will be an ongoing process.
  • Central’s history was last officially recorded through the publication of a book, Stones of Remembrance written in conjunction with the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the church in 1994. This work, faithfully compiled and written by Marilyn McCarthy, is now out of print. An original copy of “Stones of Remembrance” has been scanned and converted to PDF documents.
  • The Journals: Throughout the early life of the church, historians recorded journals of annual church activities and statistics. They document the leaders and the history of the church in the early 1900s. These journals have been scanned and will soon be added to the digital archives.

 3. Lucas and Garrison:

The third component of Preserved Wisdom is a separate, more in-depth research project focused on the historical richness of Saint Louis. From 1876-1908 the home of the Central Presbyterian Church was at the northeast corner of Lucas and Garrison Avenues. With the help of the comprehensive maps created in 1875 by Compton and Dry and old city directories, we know exactly who lived in close proximity to the church at that time.  This was an era when Saint Louis was one of the preeminent cities in the world. Many of the well-to-do living in the neighborhoods around the church during this golden age of Saint Louis history, became fabulously successful but also gave back to the city through their financial philanthropy and civic service. Their stories are often fascinating. Lucas and Garrison – 1875 is an intersection of Saint Louis lives, times and places.