A brief History of our Parish

As in many parts of the South, Catholic parishes were first formed from small communities, gathering in people’s homes. This was also true in the way St. John began.

Before the Catholic church was brought to Lewisburg, a priest from Columbia came bi-monthly and celebrated Mass in the home of Leo Weaver. After Mr. Weaver passed away the 25 member congregation gathered for weekly Masses at the concession stand at the old drive- in theatre on Highway 31 A North.

In the spring of 1955, Fr. Edward Elliot, pastor of Maury and Marshal Counties, made arrangements with Fr. John Cain, pastor of Coffee and Bedford Counties, to have a church building brought from Tullahoma to Lewisburg. The building was located on Highway 31 North and is now the New Covenent Church. In 1980 we moved to South Ellington Parkway. The parish hall served as the worship space until the dedication of the present church on March 20, 1983.

The Glenmary Home Missioners assumed the pastoral care of the parish from 1967 to 1996. The Glenmary priests who served us were Frs. Frank Gardner, Gerald Peterson, Frank Ruff, Brian LaBurt and Micheal Langell. They resided at the rector for St. William’s, Shelbyville, and served both parishes.

The docese assumed responsibilty for the leadership of the parish in June of 1996. Fr. Zacharias Payikat CMI was assigned as parish adminstrator until July 1997 Fr. Bigley SDS, a Salvatorian, became pastor of St. John’s and St. William’s in July 1997. Diocesan Father John Baltz was appointed administrator in December of 1998. The Salvatorians resumed responsibilty in July 2000. The Salvato rian priests who served us were: Frs. Paul Portland, Jude Weisenbeck , Thomas Perrin and Barry Griffin until 2007. Fr. George Chennapallil from Kerala, India, served us in 2007-08, Fr. William Kelly SDS from 2008-2014 and Fr. Jose Kariamadam, CMI, a member of the Carmelites of Mary Immacualte from India, took over from him and continues as pastor until now.

Sister Cathryn Kever, SSSF, worked at St. John for 10 years as pastoral coordinator until June 1999. Brother Van Todd, SDS, became pastoral coordinator in 1999 and continued until 2014.

Our Mission statement: We, the members of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, recognize and respect our diverse and multicultural character. By the grace of God we will nurture our spiritual community through prayer, service and example to become one family in Christ.

We welcome you to join us in our faith journey as together we serve the people of Marshall County.