Rev. Dr. Linda Settles to Appear on Kelly Clarkson Show on February 16


Green Trails United Methodist Church’s Pastor, Rev. Dr. Linda Settles, will appear on the Kelly Clarkson show on Thursday, February 16 on KPLR at 3 p.m.   Pastor Settles will showcase the Church’s work in partnership with the St. Louis County Parks Foundation on the restoration of African American Schoolhouse #4 at Faust Park.  The segment was taped on February 1, 2023 in Los Angeles.
The Clarkson Show contacted Pastor Settles in December after finding a segment produced by and aired on KSDK on November 19, 2022.  The segment featured the Church members working with the Parks Foundation staff to chink the Schoolhouse as part of the restoration project. 
“I learned about the restoration when a Church member brought me a copy of the Chesterfield Historical Society’s calendar for 2023.  I am a black pastor appointed to a predominately white congregation, so the work intrigued me,” said Pastor Settles.   “I then asked my Church to join me at the Schoolhouse for a day of chinking on the coldest day in November.  20 volunteers came out!”
Pastor Settles continued about why the work was important to her.  “I think we will continually look for work that unites us all in our community.  This work is about preserving history: not only black history, but the history of Chesterfield,“ she stated.    “It’s work that can bring people together for a common cause, and it seemed the right work to engage in as a pastor in a cross-cultural appointment.”
The partnership has also been with the St. Louis County Parks Foundation, led by Mark Ohlendorf, and the preservation lead, Jesse Francis.  According to Pastor Settles, “The Parks Foundation has been so eager to cultivate and promote our partnership on this project.  We couldn’t ask for a better leaders to help us determine what we could actually do to help.  I contacted Mark Ohlendorf when I first heard about the project.  He met me at Faust Park and we put together our initial partnership plan.  And then we were off!”
Pastor Settles is excited about the impact the story has made locally, but now nationally and internationally with the Kelly Clarkson show segment.  “The story intrigued the Clarkson show because of the unity aspect as well as the unique partnership between our Church and the Parks Foundation,” said Pastor Settles.  “They even had a surprise at the end of the segment to honor that partnership.”  
In addition to the actual project, through her work, Pastor Settles sought to meet the last surviving substitute teacher from the Schoolhouse, Mrs. Doris Frazier.  “She’s delightful.  She’s 92 and full of life! Her stories of the schoolhouse are really positive and uplifting,“ said Pastor Settles.
Mrs. Frazier will join Pastor Settles, Mark Ohlendorf, and Jesse Francis for a Unity Luncheon at Green Trails Church on Sunday, February 26 at 11:30 a.m. to celebrate the partnership and project. 
The Kelly Clarkson show featuring Pastor Settles will air at 3 p.m. on KPLR, Channel 11 on Thursday, February 16.