Shaare Emeth, Temple of the Gates of Truth

Temple of the Gates of Truth

After writing my recent St. Louis Magazine article about Centenary United Methodist Church, one of the oldest continually operating congregations in downtown St. Louis, and in the city in general, I became interested in the synagogue that backed right up to the church. It was dramatically named Temple of the Gates of Truth, and I asked my friends Jeff and Randy Vines if they knew what that would be in Hebrew, and whether or not they had heard of it. They replied that it was in fact their synagogue growing up, but at its current location out in Creve Coeur and Shaare Emeth is the Hebrew translation of the English. Here is an original photograph of the synagogue. The congregation moved to Vandeventer and Lindell (see Sanborn map below, upper left), and then to University City before the current location. In the future, I will dig up a photo of the Lindell building. I am curious why in the mid-Nineteenth Century they used English, but by the early Twentieth they had switched to the Hebrew name.

Shaare Emeth Lindel and Vandeventer

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Dee Ketchmark says:

    How did you download the picture of the housing map. I have spent many hours looking at the 1909 map book and want to download the pictures of where family was located. Do you have to be a member of the organization to do that.?

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Screen capture! Shift plus Print Screen button, then drop it into a photo editor program.

    2. Chris Naffziger says:

      Or wait, do you mean the Sanborn maps? They’re available for free on-line:;c=umcscsanic

  2. Could you give the source for the print of the synagogue you’ve posted? For a new online exhibit “Synagogues of the South,” I’d like to include the history of this building ans its 1897 successor at Lindell and Vandeventer, We have historic postcard of the exteriors of both buildings but nothing of the interiors, nor the names of the architects. If you are able to provide any additional information it would be very appreciated. We’ll also be searching for speeches given at the dedications of the buildings.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      It is from a famous book about St. Louis:

      A Tour of St. Louis: Or, The Inside Life of a Great City
      By Joseph A. Dacus, James William Buel, 1878.

  3. I published a book, “Shaare Emeth at 150” which is a history of the congregation. We have no photographs of the interiors of the first two buildings. Nor did we find information about the architects. It is available at the congregation.

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