History of St. Peter’s Catholic Church

LaGrange, GA

Established June 15, 1936


Carved from St. Joseph’s of Athens, Georgia, jurisdiction of Troup, Meriwether and Heard Counties in the 1830’s, St. Peter’s started as a mission in LaGrange with a $10,000 donation if the church would be named for St. Peter’s.  A modest building, dedicated in 1936 and accommodating 100 was built for a faith community of 12 families that had been celebrating Mass in private homes since the early 1900s. Redemptorists were called in as staff from the 1940s to 1956 when the church registered some 55 families.

A parish hall was added in 1962, followed by a major renovation and expansion that doubled the seating capacity. By 1980 the number of families had grown to 180, necessitating further expansion in 1984, when six acres that held an old cotton mill were donated by Milliken and Company and was valued over $1,000,000. 

As parish membership continued to multiply, construction of a new church complex began in 1987. Completed and dedicated in July 1988, it was built of antique white brick and contained a parish hall, a school of religion wing and a rectory—all at the cost of $2 million. $1 million was raised by parish members and friends and one million was a matching grant by the Callaway Foundation. Its 320 families could fill its 450 seats.

The parish undertook the care of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Manchester, 35 miles east of LaGrange as a mission, which now has 45 families. The mission mass was first held in the Warm Springs National Polio Foundation hospital, which was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  As the program of immunization for Polio progressed and eliminated the need for the hospital, a small church was established in the nearby city of Manchester. 

St. Peter’s has grown to a membership of 450 households. Another educational wing was added in 2001.

The St. Mary's Garden and later the St. Joseph's Garden were re-designed and beautified; parishioners can memorialize loved ones with engraved bricks, which are embedded around the stone cross which came out of the original church on Church Street.

In 2019, the Parish and Finance Councils, with the Archbishop's approval, decided to initiate a Capital Campaign drive to raise funds to purchase a new Rectory for our priest at an offsite location. We went over our goal and continue to be debt free.  The old Rectory is being used for Ministry meetings.

The newest addition is the Columbarium, completed in early 2020. It is located under the portico, behind the altar and it is a beautiful addition to our church.