St. Mark was founded in 1919. The first building was located at Valley Junction on the site of the old West Des Moines city hall. In 1953 the congregation moved to the present Grand Avenue, West Des Moines location. In 1968 the facilities were enlarged.
Through the years, St. Mark has improved and expanded its outreach to the world and local community. Steadily increasing proportionate financial commitments have been made in partnership to the mission we share with the Southeastern Iowa Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), as well as agencies supporting local needs involving hunger, child care, adult and elder care. Worship services are enhanced by one of the finest pipe organs in Des Moines and music provided by individuals and groups. Religious education, always a priority, is evidenced by active participation in Sunday adult forums and Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, study groups, confirmation ministry, communion instruction for fifth graders, and continued education in high school.
The congregation’s sense of community and service led to an extensive building program during 1986-1987. A new entrance, lobby space, offices, adult classrooms, remodeled nursery, and handicap accessible restrooms have been integrated into the existing facility. The addition greatly enhances St Mark’s use as a focal point of spiritual, educational, social and civic needs of the area.
In 2004, the congregation began a new building project to update and expand the current facilities. The first phase was completed Easter 2006 and includes a remodeled sanctuary and lobby, along with a new playground area near the Sunday school wing.
In 2008, the congregation acquired the former West Des Moines library to the east of the sanctuary. This space was renovated to include offices and space for the youth. In 2014, it has been remodeled to include education space for 1st – 6th graders.
The need for updated kitchen facilities and renovations in the west wing classrooms was addressed in 2014. Existing space was remodeled to accommodate preschool children and to relocate, expand, and update the kitchen.
St. Mark is growing! If you have trouble finding a parking place to park when you come for worship, parking is also available at:
• Seventh Day Adventists (east of the Discipleship Center)
• Along 12th Street