Although St. Peter Parish was founded in 1884, that is not where our history began. One of the earliest records of the Faith in Greenville, North Carolina is found in the U.S. Catholic Miscellany. It notes that in March of 1828 some Catholics were living in Greenville and the surrounding vicinity. The old Baptismal records in Washington, North Carolina record that Fr. Patrick Coffey visited Greenville in January of 1845. Mission priests served Greenville until Fr. Price began his regular visitations in the 1880′s.
In 1884, the paris of St. Peter was established in Greenville. Fr. Price purchased a frame building for $50 that the Episcopalians had used. This little church was moved two blocks to 2nd Street and was placed on a small lot given by Colonel Harry Skinner. This building served as the church until 1926 when Fr. Charles Gable, the first resident Pastor, built a combined rectory and church with the help of the Church Extension Society.
A spirit of giving characterized our efforts over the over the following years to raise funds to build the facilities needed to fulfill our mission. During Fr. Gable’s 36 years as Pastor, a school named in honor of St. Raphael (later renamed St. Peter’s) was opened in 1946 and adminstered by The Sisters of the Most Precious Blood from Columbia, PA. There were 54 students at its opening with six grades. With a steady influx of families and students, once again the community joined together in 1953 to build a new shcool and auditorium. Today our school is considered one of the finest elementary schools in the state with classes pre-K through eight. There are 570 students enrolled with a waiting list of well over 100.
In 1987, though and agreement with the Passionist Community and Bishop Joseph Gossman, five Passionist priests came to Greenville to serve the Catholic Community. Two were assigned to cover St. Peter’s. Passionists have served St. Peter’s, St. Gabriel’s, the Newman Center in Greenville and St. Catherine in Tarboro.
The 1990′s saw tremendous growth in the parish. To accommodate the persistent and growing crowds a multi-millon dollar building program was begun by Fr. Joseph Jones, C.P. It resulted in a new church, parish hall, parking facilities, new gymnasium and two extensions on the school. More recently we expanded our office facilities, obtained a new rectory, confessionals, parking and additional church space. Numerically, the parish numbered 36 parishioners in 1922. In 1981, there were 450. In 1987, there were 1,160. Today, there are over 4,000 registered parishioners. Our small community, which began with less than one hundred families, is now vibrant and overflowing.
Our commitment to providing a place where all can gather, celebrate and participate in a faith community has remained constant. As a result, St. Peter has become a center for our children, young adults, families and seniors. Our dedication to build the faith of each and every parishioner has fostered a dynamic atmosphere of community life-but there is so much more we could do…
Building for Tomorrow!
As the St. Peter family continues to grow so too must our facilities. The current Parish Center serves many purposes, but is rarely able to accommodate more than one group at a time. With our current ministries at capacity and new ministries being added every year, we are in dire need of sufficient space for our parish groups to meet.
Whether large or smaill, our ministries need additional space to meet and socialize, side-by-side, on any given day or evening-something which present circumstances preclude. Converting our Parish Hall into a true multi-purpose Parish Center is what our parish needs to appropriately foster its growth.
Today our lively parish reflects the sacrifies of our founders. Now is the time for each of us to continue that tradtion for the future. Let us together heed the call to continue to Build the Body of Christ in our community.
“Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1
A Building To Build The Body of Christ
I tell you of my love
I give you my heart and all that I am.
I thank you for your body and blood in the Eucharist.
Be mindful of my desire to please you
and forgive my sins.
We come to you today for a special favor.
Jesus, we need a building,
a building to build the body of Christ.
We need room to speak of your love,
to gather all your people young and old.
We need space to meet,
to share, to enjoy, to care for others, to spread our faith.
accomplish this for us.
Make it your prayer to the Father
then it will not be refused.
Mary, our Mother, help us.
St. Peter, our patron, pray for us.
St. Paul of the Cross, our Father, guide us.
- A two-story multi-use building with nearly 16,000 square feet of vital space.
- Welcoming entry with covered drop-off.
- An inviting gathering area that can seat 450, but can also be partitioned into smaller meeting areas.
- A fully equipped kitchen and pantry for use by all parish organizations, ministries and clubs; suitable for in-house catering of most parish functions. Will be able to serve large gatherings, receptions, seminars as well as confirmation, marriage preparation workshops, and Deanery functions.
- Several meeting rooms to accommodate the daily activities, meetings, and gatherings of our parishes many organizations, ministries and clubs.
- Space and sotrage for the St. Vincent de Paul ministry to the poor.
- Peter’s Way Religious Gift Shop.
- Designated Music Room-which will free up the Church for prayer and reflection.
- A Nursery to be made available during Sunday Morning Masses and other functions.
- Adequate facilities for our ever-growing youth programs and Life Teen.
- Classrooms to accommodate our RCIA programs and faith formation for children and adults.
- Adequate space for Vacation Bible School.
- Offices for pastoral administration and staff.
- Storage for all parish ministries and programs.