Chapter 12 A Call to Saint Louis, Missouri
This Chapter in our lives covers our move in March 1972 from New Orleans to St. Louis County, Missouri. I was recruited by the Rev. Dr. Andrew A. Jumper to serve as Managing Editor of the Open Letter and Executive Director for the Covenant Fellowship of Presbyterians. Andy was the President of that organization, which had its offices in the Central Presbyterian Church of Clayton, Missouri, the 2,500-member congregation for which he was its Senior Pastor. In addition, Andy was my brother-in-law, having married my sister, Elizabeth Anne Sharpe Jumper. Our years living in Missouri were destined to last till September 1982. The Jumpers had moved to St. Louis in 1970 at a time when Elizabeth had just been diagnosed with cancer. The new church for them rallied around the family in prayer for this health condition for Elizabeth. She graduated to Heaven December 26, 1973.
Their four children at the time of her death were Mark Andrew (19), Peter Sharpe (17), Kathryn Elizabeth (15) and Carol Anne (13). The funeral/burial was scheduled for December 30. However, a major winter snowstorm arrived, causing a reschedule to January 2 instead at Oak Grove Cemetery, 7800 Saint Charles Rock Road, Normandy, Saint Louis County, Missouri.
My work included serving to co-ordinate the publicity office of communications for the successful General Assembly ModeratorŐs elections of Dr. L. Nelson Bell in 1972 and of Mr. Jule Spach in 1976 for the Presbyterian Church, US (the Southern Presbyterian Church). They both had served missionary careers for the PCUS. These were elective positions with other candidates running.
Our home at 7044 Northmoor Drive, University City, MO, was a pleasant location to live. It was convenient to the Flynn Park Elementary School our children attended, about a mileŐs walk or drive. It also was about a mile from my office at Central Church. It was a markedly more pleasant neighborhood in comparison to the Irish Channel Neighborhood where we lived in New Orleans. There was a Roman Catholic Church at the head of our neighborhood with an Elementary School. All the children in our neighborhood attended there, except our three children! Our public school was populated more than 50% Jewish children. So, we had interesting mixes of faith around us.
Suzanne and I began involving ourselves in local political activity, attending meetings, etc. I begin working as an election clerk at the voting poll at the church in our neighborhood. We worked in the Republican Party activities. It was not long before I was recruited to be the Election Judge for our Precinct in the Republican Party. Mrs. Earle Lionwebber was the Precinct Chair for our area. Suzanne and I were elected from our local Precinct to be Delegates to the Missouri State Republican Conventions of 1978 and 1980.
Central Presbyterian Church was one of the leading supportive churches for the Covenant Fellowship of Presbyterians. Highland Part Presbyterian of Dallas, TX was the most financially supportive church for our work. Two other strongly supportive churches were from Tennessee: First Presbyterian Church, Nashville, and Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, Lookout Mountain, TN. A lot of other churches donated relatively minor amounts.