Sts. Joseph & Paul Parish – 1887

Adam Paris Churches 7 Comments

St. Joseph Church was organized in 1870 by the German members of St. Stephen. Their first building, built in 1871 at Triplett and McFarland (9th) burned by a fire caused by lightning. In 1878, they bought a lot at the southeast corner of 4th and Clay and completed their new building in 1880.

When St. Stephen Church couldn’t accommodate the growing congregation, St. Paul’s Church was formed, announcing December 1886.

Most of the founders of St. Paul Church were associated with the distilleries of Owensboro. These Irish “whiskey people” didn’t like to associate with the Germans. A small temporary church was built on the corner of 4th and Pearl and completed in March, 1887, and by July, they had broken ground on a new lot where the current St. Joe & Paul still stands today at the northeast corner of 4th and Bolivar.

In April of 1948, Bishop Francis R. Cotton announced that the who parishes would merge. In order to minimize friction between the two, St. Joseph Church stayed open for two Masses on Sunday and one during the week, while all others were held at St. Paul’s Church.

In 1978, declining enrollment and rising fuel costs caused St. Joseph to finally close. After four years of trying to find a use for the church and no one having the funds to repair it, the building was demolished in March 1990.

Below is a slideshow of photos taken by AP Imagery in March 2017.
Direct link to album below is:

Sts. Joe & Paul Parish
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Comments 7

  1. My grandmother Beatta pickerel cleaned both churches in the early 60’s when I was 4 or 5 years old. She lived 407 4th. Street. Maybe 405.

  2. My great-great grandparents, among others, were some of the original parishioners and donated towards the bell in the steeple. Their names are engraved on it. One of the stained glass windows is in my great-great grandfather’s name. This is a beautiful church, one I’ve always had a soft spot for, and your pictures are gorgeous.

  3. I remember growing up in this church made my First Communion there. My papaw (Hugh Mills) drove the church bus on Sunday’s and I always loved to go with him to pick everyone up for church.

  4. My mother was a parishioner at St. Joseph’s as a child. She once told me as recently as the early 40s, Fr. Braun would sometimes give his homilies in German. The rest of Mass was in Latin, of course, back in those days.

  5. Thank you for the informational and genuine history. Saints Joseph and Paul is a loving community that provides us the opportunity to “Give our hearts to God and our talents to His people!” We, the members of this lovely church, strive to do God’s will through our actions so we can experience heaven on earth.

    Our church building has been a spiritual gathering place not only for immigrants from Germany and Ireland but at the start of the 21st Century, a spiritual haven for Hispanic immigrants from Mexico, our neighbors to the South, including the Central America countries of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Our church members take to heart Jesus’ second greatest commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Blessings, shalom and a Dios, carlos earhart

  6. I grerw up in this parrish. My grandmother did the alter linens during the 60’s. We lived on Pearl St, and almost everyone I knew went to this church.

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