North End Bible Hall, MO
North End Bible Hall, sometimes also known as the North End Gospel Hall, was an open brethren assembly in St. Louis, Missouri that was going by 1925, and ended in conflict in the early 1930's. Theodore Bossert was listed as a correspondent in an assembly address book published in 1927 by Faithful Words Publishing, based in St. Louis. The assembly, at that time, met at 1501 Penrose Street in the Hyde Park neighborhood. Bossert lived nearby at 1521 E. Grand Ave.
Around 1925, a Baptist teenager named Addie Louise Claridge (1911-2009) was "impressed by a neighbor's Sunday School paper, and brought it to her father", Charles Francis Claridge (1868-1934) who declined to read it, thinking it was JW literature, but Addie insisted it was "just what we Baptists believe", and Charles "grudgingly read it over", and was "enthused enough to attend the humble services down the street and investigate its origin", and the Claridge family soon joined North End Gospel Hall, Charles ecstatically declared it to be "old fashioned Baptist going under a different name".
At some juncture, perhaps after Charles died in 1934, scandal struck the assembly when a couple "supercilious" young ladies accused a "truly godly elder" of in inappropriate relationship, and the congregation became "embroiled in consternation and conflict", and eventually folded.
At a particularly low point in the conflict, Addie met a couple young ladies who were working for Bible Truth Publishers, a TW publishing house then based locally, and was "absolutely enamored with their consecration to the Lord, their knowledge of the Scriptures, and the dignity of their Exclusive serenity", and was eventually received into what is now the Fenton Meeting Room.
Addie met her husband, William Ellsworth Morris (1911-1993), while on a business trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was working for the summer at a soda fountain at the hotel she was staying, and after a "whirlwind courtship", they were married a month later, and settled in Tulsa, in fellowship with TW brethren there, as well as with the opens for awhile simultaneously, eventually settling among the TW's, where many of them remain.
Addie's son Dr. Morton C. "Bud" Morris (1940-2017) was a country doctor and poet who wrote an autobiography in 1994 (and revised in 2012) that includes these stories, known as The Fourth Generation.
Since 1959, Revelation Missionary Baptist Church has met at the site of the old North End Bible Hall.
- Who's Who at North End Bible Hall, MO +1925-1934?
- 1927 AAB
- The Fourth Generation