The Early Years
The origin of St. Jude Church dates back to 1939, when the Oblates of Mary Immaculate came to Sumter to serve the needs of the African- American community and to share the Catholic faith. The first building was the rectory which housed a chapel for worship.
In 1941, the original church building was completed, known later as Atkinson Hall. Church services were held in this building until the construction of the present church in 1948.
After 1948, Atkinson Hall was used as a parish hall. On December 15, 1948, the first Christmas program was presented to Bishop Hanihan from the Diocese of Charleston. When the parish center was built, Atkinson Hall was used as a thrift shop. It was demolished in 1993.

The first elementary school was built in 1948. It opened its doors in Sept. There were only four classrooms. Doubled up they held grades one through eight. It was demolished in 1993.

In 1948, a convent was constructed. That year, the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur arrived from Buffalo, NY to staff the school. The convent accomodated the three sisters assigned to teach at the elementary school.
The first pastor, Fr. Clarence McIntyre OMI, is shown with several of the elementary school teachers, their students and the Sisters of St. Mary. The sisters are Sr. Fidelis, Sr. Mary John and Sr. Marianne.
The second grade students spell out a Thank You All to their parents and friends during graduation at the end of the school year.
In 1948, the present church was constructed. The church has served the St. Jude parish without major structural alterations until the present day.
Members of the congregation gather with Fr. McIntyre after the christening of one of the youngest members of the parish.
The first catholic high school in Sumter was built on St. Jude property in 1958. It was constructed with extensive help from the students, one classroom per year. Each year saw a new grade enter the school as facilities were completed.
..."And whoever gives to one of these little ones
but a cup of cold water to drink
because he is a disciple, amen I say to you,
he shall not lose his reward."

The Middle YearsThe PresentDedication

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