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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Washington in Beaufort County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

St. John the Evangelist Church

 
 
St. John the Evangelist Church Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Wintermantel, August 10, 2013
1. St. John the Evangelist Church Marker
Inscription. The first Roman Catholic church in North Carolina. Consecrated, 1829. Burned by Federal troops, 1864. Stood one block east.
 
Erected 1996 by North Carolina Division of Archives and History. (Marker Number B-59.)
 
Location. 35° 32.808′ N, 77° 3.559′ W. Marker is in Washington, North Carolina, in Beaufort County. Marker is at the intersection of North Bridge Street (U.S. 17) and West 3rd Street, on the right when traveling north on North Bridge Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Washington NC 27889, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Burning Of Washington (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); C. C. Cambreleng (about 700 feet away); John H. Small (approx. 0.2 miles away); Siege Of Washington (approx. 0.2 miles away); Attack On Washington (approx. 0.2 miles away); Havens Memorial Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lindsay C. Warren (approx. 0.2 miles away); USS Picket (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Washington.
 
Regarding St. John the Evangelist Church.
Roman Catholic worship in Washington, North Carolina, had its beginnings in 1807 when Father Michael Lacy
St. John the Evangelist Church Marker at North Bridge Street (U.S. 17) and West 3rd Street image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 19, 2013
2. St. John the Evangelist Church Marker at North Bridge Street (U.S. 17) and West 3rd Street
visited the homes of Walter Hanrahan and Lewis Leroy. In the 1820s John England, newly appointed bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, visited regularly. In 1823 Leroy contributed land in the southeast corner of the intersection of Third and Van Norden Streets for a church building. Construction was slow but services were held in the church by 1828. This, according to Stephen Worsley who conducted a study of Catholic activity in antebellum North Carolina, was the first Catholic church in the state.

Bishop England, who had organized the parish in 1821, consecrated St. John the Evangelist Church, on March 25, 1829, only days after dedicating St. Patrick Church in Fayetteville. The building served the local Catholic population until April 1864, when it was burned, along with much of Washington, by evacuating Union troops. The fire also caused much damage to grave markers in the Catholic cemetery. For over sixty years thereafter the town had no Catholic church and worship was held in private homes. The original site today is the site of the First Methodist Church of Washington.

In 1925 the Passionist Fathers, a Catholic order, established Mother of Mercy parish to serve as a mission church and school for blacks. A private home was purchased to serve as a convent for the sisters and a small chapel opened. The local white Catholics soon began attending mass in
St. John the Evangelist Church image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, April 19, 2013
3. St. John the Evangelist Church
the chapel, but finding the need for more space, built St. Agnes Chapel in 1929. In 1963 the two Catholic parishes and separate black and white parochial schools were combined as Mother of Mercy parish. The Passionist Fathers withdrew and the parish became the responsibility of the Diocese of North Carolina. The school closed in 1973 following financial problems. Mother of Mercy Church today consists of about three hundred families.
 
Categories. Churches, Etc.War, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 12, 2013, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 314 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on August 12, 2013, by Mike Wintermantel of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.   2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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