We are liking our Sunday mornings when in town. We drive from suburban West County, east on I-64 (US 40 if you are that way about it), cross the Mississippi into Illinois, stick with 64 as it veers east, taking us to the St Clair exit into East St Louis.

We are Soldiers of the Salvation Army corps in East St Louis.

Our corps officer is Lieutenant AJ Zachery.  He is the Sunday morning preacher for a small gathering of mostly young people who have found church at Salvation Army.

We meet in a Salvation Army building built in 1960 –  East St Louis corps building plaque

Back then they called it a citadel.  War, yes, but more of a quick-get-in-here place of safety.  The way things are these days in East St Louis …

A few of our colleagues and peers understand our choosing this small corps in a rough place as our place.  To worship.  But most everyone else, they don’t.

For us such places have a gritty charm.   Next door to the corps building –

Way Bigga Burger


Way Bigga Burger 2



Way Bigga Burger 4Sometime in the next few weeks we will begin having a shorter commute.  Instead of driving from somewhere close to the Missouri River in west St Louis County, our trip to church will originate from the city of St Louis.  Our new living quarters will mean a 5 minute trip to work instead of 30, 45 or more.  It will mean that we once again become city dwellers instead of suburbanites.  Living in a place of density and diversity.  Where we will move from is not.

Some understand why.  Others don’t.