The Word at Shaw is a multicultural, multigenerational congregation of The United Methodist Church. As a new church plant our congregation was able to start from scratch and create something we could not find anywhere else. We set out to build a community church that allows the neighborhood access to the facility other than on Sunday morning. We wanted to be a part of a diverse and socially active community where we could join in and help our neighbors. We wanted to build a church community that would reflect the heavenly community God has created for eternity. (Revelations 7:9)


From the beginning we set out to create a church that didn't meet normal church expectations. We have very little formality or religious rituals. In establishing this we went back to the root word for church "kirsch" which didn't have anything to do with a building or a religious experience, the word dealt more with the gathering of people. We are a group of people from different backgrounds, eras, and ethnicities that get together to learn (KNOW God), hang out (LOVE All), and work at making our community a better place to live (SERVE Others). Even our Sunday morning service has a home town, close knit feel about it. It is a very relaxed setting where most dress very casually and others wear their Sunday best. Whatever your approach we have strived to create an environment where all are welcomed and loved as they are. 

Messages are based on real world issues bringing a Biblical perspective designed to give practical applications, and real life solutions.


  • The Word at Shaw believes in one God who created all that exists and who eternally exists in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Further, We believe that Jesus Christ is Son of God – God in human flesh – and was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
  • The Word at Shaw believes that God has revealed God's self in Christ Jesus who died on the cross for our sin, was buried, rose physically from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
  • The Word at Shaw believes the Holy Spirit lives in every believer – convicting and empowering them to continually grow as followers of Jesus Christ.
  • The Word at Shaw believes that God is revealed in the Bible (Old and New Testament) – which has been transmitted to the present without corruption of any essential doctrine. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit and inerrant in the original manuscripts. It contains all things necessary to receive salvation, and is the authroitative word of God. 
  • The Word at Shaw believes that all people are created in the image of God but possess a sin-nature that separates them from God until they receive Christ.
  • The Word at Shaw believes that all who receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith are spiritually reborn as children of God, forgiven for all of their sin and given the promise of eternal life in heaven.
  • The Word at Shaw believes that Jesus Christ will return personally and visibly to judge the living and the dead and introduce the “eternal state” in which those who have received Christ by faith will experience the blessing of eternity in heaven with God. Those who have not received Christ will forfeit this blessing forever.

We are committed to creating a multicultural, multigenerational community on earth that reflects the heavenly community we will experience for eternity. - Revelation 7:9

To meet people wherever they are on their spiritual journey and help them take their next step closer to Christ Jesus. - Mark 16:15

•KNOW (GOD)  - John 6:69
•LOVE (ALL) - John 13:35
•SERVE (OTHERS) - 1 Peter 4:10

To form fully devoted followers of Christ, knowing that the closer we get to Jesus, the closer we will also get to one another. - 1 John 1:7

     Keith Scarborough, Lead Pastor

Pastor Keith grew up in St. Louis and graduated High School from Hazelwood Central (a straight C student!). As a young man he studied acting and at the age of 15 he was cast as Huckleberry Finn at The Clemens Amphitheater in Hannibal Missouri. He later went on to play several roles in Branson's Silver Dollar City and The Shepherd of the Hills, before becoming the Director of Entertainment at Rawhide Wild West Town in Scottsdale Arizona.

In 2001 Keith joined a team planting a church in Phoenix Arizona and returned to school to earn a degree in Biblical Studies and Theology. In 2004 he and his family returned to St. Louis where he became an associate pastor at Morning Star Church in O'Fallon Missouri. In 2010 he was appointed to plant The Word at Shaw. Over the past few years he has been the visionary behind the restoration of the old church building and the architect of the multicultural congregation that has been serving the community.

Keith is married to Lorilise and together they have four grown kids (2 girls and 2 boys) two (handsome) sons-in-law, and two (perfect) grandsons. 


Vance Watt, Worship Arts Pastor

Known compassionately by his friends and fans as Praiz’ or V’land, Vance L. Watt II is an accomplished songwriter, vocalist, engineer, producer and worship leader. Vance began writing at age 10 and taught himself to play piano at age 12.

Raised on the streets of St. Louis, MO, Vance had several run-ins with the law. In 1998 while attending a Kirk Franklin concert in Chicago, Vance heard and received the Gospel and vowed to leave his sinful nature at the alter. Since turning from a life of crime and giving his heart to the Lord, Praiz is dedicated to the Great Commission Christ has left with the Church and reaching today’s youth. 

Vance “Praiz” Watt’s career continues on the road of tireless and indomitable creativity. In ten years, he has used every minute to build, inspire, create and share the success of an independent entrepreneur. Vance’s knack not only to create his own music, but his intrinsic ability to discover and nurture talent is what has sent him to the top of the music industry, and his love for people and God's church is what inspires him to lead worship for The Word at Shaw.

Vance is married to Candice Watt and together they have four (GREAT) kids, D'Monti (ROCK), Cadi, Vance (Lil' V), and Jafia (J'Bug).

The Word at Shaw has several programs designed specifically for reaching into our community. Our Coffee House offers Poetry, Jazz and Comedy nights and is commonly used by the Shaw neighborhood to host seminars and community conversations.


Our Coffee House also offers a weekly AA meeting, called AA On The Rocks, every Wednesday night from 7:00 to 9:00pm. Along with this an Al-Anon group also meets at the same time in a private room.