Saint Patrick's Church

2840 Village Drive
Fayetteville, North Carolina 28304
(910) 323-2410

(Founded in 1829)

When Bishop England visited Fayetteville in 1821 he found 12 Catholics led by John Kelly. On February 4, 1824, Bishop England formally organized the Catholic community of Fayetteville into the first parish in North Carolina and placed it under the protection of Saint Patrick. The parishioners worshiped in a converted warehouse until Kelly donated a piece of land on Bow Street and the first Saint Patrick's Church was built. On Tuesday, March 17, 1829, Bishop England celebrated the dedication and solemn blessing of Saint Patrick's Church, which was the first Roman Catholic sanctuary dedicated in North Carolina.

In the early years no permanent pastor was available, so Sunday Mass was only said about every three months by traveling missionaries who also heard confessions. In between these Masses, lay leaders conducted services. Unfortunately the small chapel and all church records were destroyed in Fayetteville's Great Fire of 1831. The second church structure, which served parish members for more than 100 years, was near the same site at historic Liberty Point. It was not until 1867 that Saint Patrick's was assigned a priest full-time, Father James Gibbons. In 1936 Saint Patrick's had 120 parishioners and relocated to Arsenal Avenue. During the time on Arsenal Avenue, Saint Patrick's opened its first school on Haymount Hill. The congregation moved to its present location on Village Drive in 1963, and the school building joined the church at this location 25 years later. The congregation today numbers about 4,500. Under the leadership of Pastor John Durbin, the congregation continues to grow in faith as well as numbers.