Monica R. Butler, owner of The Butler Group and founder of Archview Media, has been a part of television, theatre and film production for over 25 years. With passion and compassion, she has produced for Black Entertainment Television working with Bobby Jones Gospel, Tyler Perry stage play production and served as Producer at The Word Television Network, she has produced her own projects through The Butler Group and just completed a successful summer with her “Film Camp USA” for youth where they showcased their student-made film at the historic Chase Park Plaza Cinema.
Butler plans to redevelop the former Second Baptist Church property located at 500 North Kings highway Boulevard
into a 40,000-SF Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Cultural Arts, Entertainment and Gospel Research Center.
“Since I was a child, I have always been involved with Gospel Music, through my mother Jacqueline Butler who sang and recorded with the famous gospel group ‘The O’Neal Twins.’
I experienced it all being in the studio with them as they recorded their songs and I was actually in the documentary, ‘Say Amen Somebody,’
filmed in St. Louis, Mo.,” said founder, Monica Butler.
“I have always wanted to share my love of gospel music and help everyone understand and appreciate these joyous songs, and celebrate people like St. Louis’s own Willie Mae Ford Smith, Zella Jackson Price,
and so many others who deserve recognition in our area and across the country. Gospel Music influenced a generation of musicians from Aretha Franklin to Beyonce,” said Butler.
“Music brings people and cultures together, and you can’t listen to gospel music and not be moved. The Gospel Music Hall of Fame will focus on this celebrated aspect of Black culture along with the recognition of all forms of Gospel Music and become an anchor of the community while inspiring visitors of all races and religions through the power of song.”
Steve Smith, CEO of Lawrence Group and co-founder of New + Found, will provide development services for the project; Lawrence Group will design and build the $22 million historic restoration. Plans for the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Cultural Arts, Entertainment, and Gospel Research Center include a state of the art sound stage and film theater, hall of fame museum, education center, café, courtyard and event space.
“This is an ambitious project, and a great opportunity to preserve a part of St. Louis history and create a new cultural attraction for the city,” said Smith. “We are excited to work with Monica and The Butler Group through the process to help realize their vision.”
Built in 1907, the former Second Baptist Church is part of the Holy Corners Historic District, a group of religious and public assembly buildings near the intersection of Kings highway and Washington Boulevards in St. Louis’s Central West End. The property is an official Landmark of the City of St. Louis and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
To support the future Gospel Music Hall of Fame of Missouri initiative, visit mogospel.com. The Missouri Gospel Music Hall of Fame will focus on the celebrated history aspect of Black culture along with the recognition of all forms of Gospel Music and become an anchor of the community while inspiring visitors of all races and religions through the power of song