On November 16, 1958, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church became a Mission of Holy Rosary Parish in Lexington, North Carolina. Father James F. Keenan was appointed its first pastor and celebrated the first Mass on November 30, 1958. The parish at that time consisted of 3 families.
In March 1960, the present site was purchased and the Mission was placed under the Patronage of St. Francis of Assisi. In January of 1963, Father Robert Shea became its pastor. In 1966, Rev. Ronald McLaughlin was installed as the third pastor of the Mission Church. The chapel was renovated, enlarged and the Ladiesí Guild was begun.
In June 1968, Father Thomas A. Williams was appointed pastor. The Mission was now placed under the Salisbury parish.
In May 1970, Rev. Edward Friel, OSFS, was appointed pastor. The Mission was again placed under the jurisdiction of the Lexington parish with Father Ronald McLaughlin as its pastor. At this time the parish had increased to 17 families.
By early 1972, the Rev. Anthony Silvestri, OSFS, was appointed pastor of St. Francis Church. At this time, a $17,000.00 bequest was forwarded from Mrs. Gertrude Dann of Norwich, Connecticut.
Christmas of 1974 brought the number of families to 44. The Parish Council along with its Pastor, petitioned the Bishop for permission to building a multipurpose building for the celebration of the Liturgy and other religious and social functions. The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building took place on Sunday, April 6, 1975.
The growth of the parish continued. At the time of the dedication of our new building on Sunday, October 5, 1975, there were approximately 55 families registered. The facilities accommodated about 220 people.
In March of 1976, with approximately 66 registered families, the parish increased its facilities with the purchase of the Bowden Estate, providing a parish house and adjoining four acres to facilitate the continuing growth of the parish.
In July 1978, Rev. Joseph Travers, OSFS, was appointed pastor of Holy Rosary Church in Lexington and St. Francis in Mocksville. Rev. John Masdakis, OSFS, resided at the parish house while working at St. Francis and teaching at Bishop McGuinness High School in Winston-Salem.
In 1980, St. Francis became a Mission of Holy Family Church in Clemmons. Father Robert Scott was pastor. In October 1980, our Mission was dedicated as a Church with Father Noel Patrick McSweeney, SA, as pastor.
In 1983, St. Francis once again became a Mission of Sacred Heat Parish in Salisbury. Monsignor Richard Allen was pastor.
On the 10th Anniversary in 1985, we were blessed with 52 families registered. Some of our original families moved away and others moved in.
The growth of the parish continued with approximately 75 families registered in 1988. Monsignor Richard Allen along with Father Vincent Zollo, Parochial Vicar, with Sister Bernadette McNamara, Pastoral Associate in residence, staffed the Mission.
In 1989, Father Cecil Tice became St. Francisís next pastor with Father Edward Geary coming in 1990. In 1991, the Rev. Bernard Manley became our pastor until 1996. Sister Anita Sherrin, RSM, became our Parochial Administrator in 1996 with Father Thomas Clements from Sacred Heart Parish in Salisbury as our Sacramental Minister. From 1997 to 1999 Sister Carmelita Hagan, RSM, was our Parochial Administrator. In January of 1999 we had 98 families registered.
In November 1999, our current priest, Father Andrew R. Draper, T.O.R., became Pastor and was installed in August of 2000. Our Spanish Mass began in March of 2000 with the help of Sister Susie Dandison, RSM. In January of 2001 we had 160 families registered.
The groundbreaking ceremony for our new church building was held on March 17, 2002. With construction complete, our Mass of Dedication was held on December 15, 2002 and the Church was blessed by the Most Reverend William Curlin, then Bishop of the Diocese of Charlotte. At that time we had 190 families registered.
In 2010 we have 310 registered families and continue to grow! Rev. Fr. John Starczewski became our new pastor and, under Fr. John's leadership we retired the debt on the new church building, the rectory house and all the associated land south of the church.
In August of 2017 Rev. Fr. Eric Kowalski joined us as our new Pastor!
We thank God for His blessings of the past and we praise the Lord as we look forward to tomorrow.
St. Francis of Assisi statue donated by Ms. Ellen Lansigan Elphick of Orlando, FL.
in loving memory of her father, Nicolas Lansigan with former Pastor Fr. John Starczewski
Thank you Ms. Elphick!!
to Saint Peregrine
Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel,
May God rebuke him,