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The historic La Gloria de Dios Iglesia Cristiana church.

Historic local Spanish-speaking church placed on Missouri endangered building list

The faith history of Kansas City was shaped not only by people and events but also by places. One of those places, La Gloria de Dios Iglesia Cristiana on Avenida Cesar Chavez , has fallen into disrepair.

The congregation was founded in 1917 to serve immigrants as they settled in the area to work on the railroad. The structure was built in 1931 as the first bilingual Protestant church in Kansa City. Over the years, water has leaked into the church and caused the foundation to shift, and repairs are needed.

Help may be on the way, according to KSHB-TV in Kansas City. The historic church has been nominated to be on the “Places in Peril” list compiled by the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation.

“These are the kinds of spaces and these are the individuals that create the identity of our city,” said Cynthia Ammerman, a preservationist with the local Friends of Sacred Structures, which made the nomination. “Knowing the development pressures and gentrification and the income disparities of the neighborhood, it was a priority to reach out to the community.”

READ: New book explores faith history of Kansas City

The organization hopes to find resources to conduct a detailed stabilization assessment. Obed Angulo spoke for the church on behalf of his father, Pastor Manuel Angulo.

“It would be a sad thing to (have this building be) destroyed or have anything happen like a disaster,” he said. “(So) he would like to continue maintaining and try to fix any issues if possible.”

Friends of Sacred Structures has provided support, funds and expertise to more than 194 religious structures in Kansas City for more than a quarter century. Other community and neighborhood services include childcare, homeless outreaches and food pantries. More information is available at www.fosskc.org.

Editor’s note: Metro Voice will be hosting a faith history tour of Kansas City in October. Watch for details or call 816-524-4522.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice