St. James, Williamsfield, completes church projects; set to mark 130 years on Sept. 22

St. James Church at its new location in Williamsfield. The parish marks its 130th anniversary with an ice cream social Sept. 22 at the American Legion Hall, located next to the church. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

WILLIAMSFIELD — To say that St. James Parish is still on the move after 130 years would be an understatement.

The small church that has served the parish for much of its history was lifted off of its foundation and moved across Williamsfield on June 2, 2015. Parishioners have spent the last four years tearing out walls, installing support pillars, expanding the church on both sides, painting, carpeting and completing landscaping at the new location, 2240 E. Legion Road.

Next Sunday, Sept. 22, they will celebrate the parish’s 130th anniversary and their hard work with an ice cream social. It will be held at 1 p.m. at the American Legion Hall, which is next to the church.

Everyone is welcome.

“There won’t be Champagne. We’ll toast ice cream cones,” said Father John Verrier, pastor of St. Joseph in Brimfield as well as the Williamsfield parish. “We’ll save the Champagne for the 150th.”

The village of Williamsfield was established in 1888, and it wasn’t long before the Catholic people of the new community wanted to build a Catholic church. Land was donated by Annie Mahar, the great-great-grandmother of Mary Ann Klein, whose house was being used as a gathering place for Mass.

The church was constructed in 1889 under the direction of Father James Shannon, the pastor of St. Joseph in Brimfield. It was named St. James in his honor.

The land for the church’s new location was donated by the Joe and Ann Murdock Family.

In addition to serving the Catholic families of Williamsfield and surrounding communities, St. James Parish is the spiritual home for visitors to the Oak Run community at Spoon Lake.

“It’s like brand new,” Father Verrier said, adding that one of the landscaping features is a walkway that includes bricks engraved with the names of the parish families and every pastor who has served the parish, starting with Father Shannon. His stone features a clover.

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