The earliest known Catholic presence in this area can be traced to 1820, before the County of Transylvania was established. Until the establishment of Immaculate Conception Church in Hendersonville, the nearest Catholic community was in Charleston, SC. In September 1939, the Ecusta Paper Corporation began operations in Pisgah Forest and the firm provided a station wagon to take Catholic employees to Sunday Mass in Hendersonville. This was the first formal effort to give Catholics in Brevard an opportunity to share in the world-wide and eternal Eucharistic sacrifice each Sunday.
During this time, the number of Catholics in this area increased sufficiently so that in 1941, Brevard became a mission to the Hendersonville parish and an assistant priest would come each Sunday to offer Mass in whatever place the kindness of people and convenience would permit. For the following eight years, our Masses were celebrated in civic halls, bank buildings, a beauty parlor and private residences. dreams of a parish and church began to form.
In 1946, Catholics in Transylvania County (later named the Brevard Catholic Society) began planning for their own parish. Land on Caldwell Street was purchased in August 1947 with monies raised by spaghetti dinners, dances and card parties, together with funds provided by generous benefactors.
In 1949, Father Charles O’Connor was appointed the first pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Brevard. Construction began that year and the church was formally dedicated by Bishop Vincent Waters of Raleigh on August 28, 1949. The total cost of the building was $36,000. Membership at that time was 75 people. The thirty founding families are commemorated on a plaque on the left wall of the portico of our current church building. A new wing had to later be added to the original church to accommodate the growing number of parishioners, but there was also the recognition that a larger facility would eventually be necessary.
In 1972, the growing Catholic presence in the Cashiers/Sapphire Valley area necessitated the building of St. Jude Chapel, a mission of Sacred Heart.
In the mid-eighties, planning for our current church building was initiated by the pastor at that time, Father Ray Berg. The new church was dedicated on November 17, 1988.
We would like to recognize those 30 families who tirelessly worked to raise the awareness and the means to establish a church where they could grow in community and faith.
M/M R. Allison Mrs. Alfred Dorner M/M A. J. Loeb
M/M F. Bauer M/M J. E. Driscoll M/M R. H. Morris
Mrs. Kathleen Bennett M/M E.E. Eggert M/M R. Neurohr
M/M J. E. Brennan M/M E. E. Fraser M/M C. Razzano
M/M F. Brewer M/M S. Hunter M/M A. M. Ream
M/M Louis Carr Mrs. Everett Huggins Miss Mary Rice Robinson
M/M W.W. Croushorn M/M R. Kappers M/M M. A. Schlosser
M/M D. Culver M/M P. Kilpatrick M/M C. Sharpe
Mrs. Anna DeSchot M/M F. Kornoski M/M C. Sieber
M/M V. T. Dixon M/M G. LaChance M/M A. P. Thomas
Father Charles O’Connor
To these families, we owe a debt of deep gratitude. Because of their efforts, faith and persistence, our parish family has been able to grow and flourish. These men and women leave behind a legacy of deep roots and commitment to our faith and are a shining example of what hard work and dedication can provide.