MiddleTree Church

Erin Williams

Three years ago, Pastor Brian Schmidgall moved from Wisconsin to St. Louis on a mission: to try to right the racial wrongs of St. Louis City through faith. He bought a home on the north side of Delmar Boulevard, and spent the next two years learning the folds of what the community needed in order to come together and move forward.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Sundays, rows of chairs, a city made of cardboard, and a praise band transform the auditorium of a local community center into the home of Middle Tree Church.

It's the first church associated with the Assemblies of God to open north of Delmar in almost 20 years. Its website asks, "What would communicate the love of God louder to a racially, socio-economically divided city than a church that truly unites the community that surrounds it?"

It's one man's effort to use a once racially-divided church to help heal a racially divided city.