About Us ❯

History of EFGA


Great Awakening began

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a Great Awakening began to sweep around the world, and along with it came a revival of the Biblical Pentecostal experience. At this same time, Peter Ottolini and his family had begun their own spiritual journey. God worked mightily in his life in these early years, eventually leading him to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.


Pentecostal message

Brother Ottolini felt the Holy Spirit’s call to evangelize Christ and the Pentecostal message. The Holy Spirit led him to take numerous missionary trips back to Italy, as well as several missionary trips to Italian communities around the United States. In April 1908, the Holy Spirit instructed him to evangelize in St. Louis. He was divinely directed to the Italian “Hill” community. He and a companion walked the streets of the Hill, until the Holy Spirit directed them to a home on Shaw Avenue. They found two women washing clothes in the backyard. Brother Ottolini and his companion preached the message of Jesus Christ and their message found immediate acceptance. They continued to evangelize in the community, holding services in various homes. Thus began God’s work in this Italian community and the roots of our first church.

1922 – 29

First church was built

In 1922, the number of believers converting had grown so much, they no longer could meet in homes. Miraculously the land for the new facility was donated and the first church was built on Edwards Street. Over the next few years, new believers were added as the church continued to grow. It became apparent that a new larger facility was needed. In mid-1928 members of the congregation began to build the new facility on Botanical Avenue. On January 1, 1929 the first service was held in the ‘Italian Evangelical Church’.

EFGA building outside


Evangelical Full Gospel Assembly

The church thrived in this location serving the Italian community as many believers were added and filled with the Holy Spirit. The membership continued to grow and in the early 1980s the realization that additional facilities were needed was once again impressed upon the church leadership. Land was purchased at our current location in the South County area and on January 1, 1984, the first service was held. Our pastor at the time, the late Louis Sanazaro, changed the name of the church to ‘Evangelical Full Gospel Assembly.’ He felt the new name reflected our mission, to evangelize the full gospel message.

Because two men obeyed as the Holy Spirit had instructed, God proved Himself with signs and wonders and miracles as performed by the Holy Spirit throughout our history of over 100 years. We continue to preach the same gospel message that was delivered unto us and we intend, with God’s help, to carry this same message forward until our Lord returns.