The GPUSA established many new priories during the last decade of the twentieth century, among which was the Chicago-based Commandery of St. Norbert which became a priory in 1996. The Priory of St. Norbert in turn established the Commandery of the Antioch in St. Louis, Missouri on September 26, 1997, with COL Chev. David Nels Appleby, KCTJ (later Grand Prior XIV) as commander.
Grand Prior XI, BG Chev. Stewart Boon McCarty, GCTJ, GMTJ, elevated the Commandery of St. Louis to priory status and officially named it the Priory of St. Louis at a convent and investiture on March 27, 1999. The new priory kept the Commandery of Antioch based at Springfield for members in the western part of Missouri and established the Commandery of St. Paul for members in the St. Louis area. Inasmuch as they functioned more as preceptories, the Grand Prior designated them later as such.
Twenty-six members from the Scottish Priory of St. Columba transferred to the Priory of St. Louis in 2007, under the leadership of Prior Robert Carothers. It infused the Priory with a jolt of Scottish blood, greatly increasing its membership and reinvigorating the Priory.
Prior Carothers led the Priory in increasing its charitable and social activities and beginning a period of growth, along with assistance from COL Chev. Christopher Burgoyne, GCTJ (Prior III and later Deputy Grand Prior) and SGM Chev. Thomas Marshall, GOTJ, CMTJ, Preceptor of St. Paul. The Priory created an education program for prospective postulants and established an honor guard under CPT Chev. Larry Allen Carr, KCTJ. The honor guard offers it services at member weddings and funerals.
The Priory of St. Louis has provided several members who have served as GPUSA officers, including Chev. Tom Marshall as Region V Deputy Grand Prior and COL Chev. David Appleby as Grand Prior XIV. Also, the Priory hosted the 2009 Grand Convent and Investiture in St. Louis, which coincided with the Priory’s own tenth anniversary celebration.
The Priory of St. Louis revived an almost defunct Priory of St. Mary the Virgin in Kansas City between 2009 and 2011. It is now a commandery and is working towards becoming a priory once again.
The Priory of St. Louis has made a positive difference in the world through its many charitable endeavors. Its philosophy is that members who work side-by-side at hands-on charity projects develop a camaraderie that helps glue the priory together. Members working together serve meals at three Ronald McDonald Houses in St. Louis and one in Springfield. They provide a semi-annual barbecue and an occasional movie night for veterans at Jefferson Barracks Medical Centers. Also, they perform painting and gardening projects for Emmaus Homes (for the developmentally disabled). Each of the three preceptories has its own outreach activities.
The Priory of St. Louis contributes financially to a number of causes, such as providing Christmas gifts to Lakota Indian children, toiletries for women in shelters, hats to children undergoing chemotherapy, and goods to a thrift store to help the developmentally disabled. The Priory of St. Louis members have done well in the past and have a bright future.
Priors of the Priory of St. Louis the Crusader
Prior I COL Chev. David N. Appleby, GCTJ, GMTJ (1999-2001)
Prior II LTC Chev. David V. Collignon, GCTJ (2001-2003)
Prior III COL Chev. Christopher J. Burgoyne, GCTJ (2003-2005)
Prior IV LTC Chev. Christopher Stark, GOTJ (2005-2007)
Prior V MG Chev. Robert M. Carrothers, GOTJ (2007-2009)
Prior VI SGM Chev. Thomas Marshall, GCTJ, GMTJ (2009-2011)
Prior VII Chev. John Avery, GOTJ (2011-2013)
Prior VIII Chev. Stephen Baldwin, GOTJ (2013 – 2015)
Prior IX Chev. Ian Good, GOTJ (2015 – 2017)
Prior X Chvse. Marilyn Geery, GCTJ (2017 – 2019)
Prior XI Chev. Jeffrey Lane Cook, KCTJ (2019 – Present)