What Is Preserved Wisdom?

Preserved Wisdom began as a history depository. The genesis of the project was the archiving of past sermons preached by senior pastors and the study of the history of Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Louis, Missouri. The church was established in 1844. The scope of Preserved Wisdom has evolved as more has been learned about the church and its place in the history of the City of Saint Louis and we’ve sought to encompass other historical research studies. Preserved Wisdom’s mission is to enlighten, encourage and inspire.

1. Sermon Archive:

The initial intent of Preserved Wisdom was to develop a Sermon Archive – a place to preserve and present the sermons delivered by senior pastors of the church.  The archive currently includes 1625 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 through the present have been transcribed as MP3 audio files and can be streamed through a computer or mobile device.

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

2. Central Presbyterian Church History:

  • A Central Timeline has been developed to graphically represent the history of Central Presbyterian Church including the locations, pastors and the parallel history of St. Louis and the nation since 1844.
  • Since Central Presbyterian Church’s founding 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 a PDF document.
  • We are beginning to scan, enhance and digitize the Earliest Central Presbyterian Church Records. Newly digitized records will be included as they are processed.
  • In 2019 Central celebrated the first 175 years of its history and building the foundation for the next era of God’s work through His people.
    An introduction to Central’s Celebration of its 175th Anniversary – 1844 – 2019.

3. The Lucas and Garrison Project – Historical Profiles

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. The stories of these St. Louisans are often fascinating and these short biographical sketches tell us about the era.

Lucas and Garrison – 1875 is an intersection of Saint Louis lives, times and places.”