History. In 1894, deeply concerned about the lack of pastoral care at various St. Louis City institutions, Charles Holmes, a lay person at Christ Church Cathedral, organized volunteers from the cathedral to minister at City Hospital, the City Jail, the City Workhouse, and the Asylum. Thus was born the Episcopal City Mission.
With the establishment of juvenile facilities in the city, the ministry grew to include pastoral care for children. Eventually, other Protestant denominations joined in this important ministry to those confined in the public institutions of St. Louis. In 1954 the decision was made to divide ministry to these institutions among various denominations. The Episcopal Church asked to continue the ministry to children in detention.
Our ministry to youth was firmly established in the Juvenile Detention Centers and recognized by the Family Court System. ECM became the agency authorized by the Court System to provide for the ongoing spiritual needs of detained children in St. Louis City and County.
Today ECM remains strong in this commitment to providing chaplaincy to youth in detention. Our chaplains offer support, healing and hope at the St. Louis City and County Detention Centers and the Lakeside Residential Center. Through the programs they offer and their caring, listening presence, these chaplains are in a very real sense the compassionate face of a loving God in the lives of the children.