Our History

Empowering youth since 1864.

Scroll down to see our rich history of helping youth and families in St. Louis.


The mission begins.

Epworth was started in 1864 as the Methodist Orphans' Home in Warrenton, MO to care for children arriving in St. Louis on "orphan trains" from all over the country after being left in extreme need by illness and the Civil War.


Growth and movement to continue saving lives.

After expanding to a building on Laclede Avenue, the home's name is changed to the Central Wesleyan Orphan Home, housing 35 orphans in a home-like environment where they could grow and thrive.


Protecting society's most vulnerable.

Clergy from Epworth Evangelistic Institute open the Methodist Episcopal Home for Girls on Morgan Street, caring for 26 injured and homeless girls and young women. This home soon becomes the Epworth School for Girls.


Welcome home to Webster Groves!

After taking up residence on a beautiful estate in Webster Groves, where Epworth still headquarters today, the organization is gifted $100,000 by the Jubilee Fund to build the Shoemaker and Henby Dorms. Shoemaker Hall still stands today as a renovated dorm for the healing of Epworth's youth.


Continuing a mission of inclusion and care for all children.

Services are expanded to include homeless or at-risk children and teens of all races and ethnicities.


Epworth makes a name for itself in care and guidance.

After being informally referred to as Epworth for decades, the agency's name is officially declared as Epworth Children and Family Services.


Shelter for all in a safe and stable environment.

Epworth merges with Youth Emergency Services to open a short-term shelter, intended to offer secure temporary housing and valuable resources to runaway and homeless St. Louis youth.


Reaching out throughout the community to make a real difference.

Street Outreach Services begins providing resources and support to homeless and at-risk youth in the community by providing essential items and guidance to stable housing and employment.


Preventing abuse and strengthening families.

To even more effectively combat child abuse and neglect in the community, Epworth merges with Family Support Network to educate, support, and guide families to a healthier future.


Epworth will never abandon a community in need.

In response to the effect that COVID-19 had on the community and availability of resources, Epworth elevates services and opens a food pantry to provide food security, care, and support for a wider audience as need rises and resources become more difficult to access.