Holy Rosary Catholic Church is a former Roman Catholic church in Clarksburg, West Virginia that was established in 1906 for the growing Slovak community.
In the early 20th century, Slovak immigrants were coming to America in large numbers, with many of them settling in West Virginia to work in the booming coal mines. Many had decided to work with the Consolidated Coal Company, which had vast holdings around Clarksburg. 4
In 1906, the Slovak community of Clarksburg requested permission from Roman Catholic Bishop Patrick J. Donahue to build a parish for the Slovak, Pole, Croatian, Slovenian, Hungarian, and Greek Rite communities. 2 4 Ambrose Karliak, Stephen Vojusak, and Charles Gavelda raised funding for a temporary church structure at 603 East Pike Street. 2
The first Mass was held by Rev. Melchior Furst in May 1906. 2 In June, Mass was moved to Centennial Hall and then to two old residences that were hastily remodeled into makeshift sanctuaries. The congregation then purchased two lots for a permanent church building. Shortly after, the basement of the new church was completed and an adjoining house was converted into a rectory. The remainder of the sanctuary was finished on September 30, 1909. 1
By 1913, the congregation had swelled 1,500. 2 A new Holy Rosary parish was formed in 1924 and dedicated by Bishop John J. Swint 4 on July 26, 1925. 2
Holy Rosary Catholic Church closed in 1984 when it was merged into the Immaculate Conception parish and the Sacred Heart parish of Chester 3 due to a shortage of priests. 4
As of mid-2017, the former Holy Rosary Catholic Church has been reopened as the First Missionary Baptist Church.
- “The Diocese of Wheeling.” The Catholic Church in the United States of America. Vol. 3. New York: Catholic Editing Company, 1914. 181-182. Print.
- “Immaculate Conception Parish (1864) .” Parish Directory. Diocese of Wheeling – Charleston, 25 Mar. 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.
- Rutkowski, Ryan. “Sacred Places.” Catholic West Virginia. Charleston: Arcadia, 2010. 31. Print.
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In the last couple years the church is no longer “abondoned” and has been re-opened as the First Missionary Baptist Church and is currently being restored. My brother and I were able to tour the church in June 2017 and it was wonderful to be back in the building, which I had not been in since I was a very young child. For information on the current church, go to:
I was just in WV for a Family Reunion. I breaks my heart to see Holy Rosary Church in the condition it is now in. When I think of the hard work my grandfather, Rudolph Kacinec and the other men but into it, building it with their own hands. How they had to save to pay for the church. I don’t think I will ever forgive the archdiocese of Wheeling for what they did in closing it. I am trying to find who owns it now. I am interested in getting the window with my grandparents name one it. Since when I was there there were stained glass windows broken and laying on the ground. If you know who I should talk to please let me know.
Does anyone know where the records from Holy Rosary Church from 1906 through the 1930’s might be located today? My father was baptized there in 1920 and I have his Baptismal certificate, and I suspect there are other family records in the files. Any ideas? Thank you!
I enjoyed the comments above, particulary PH’s recent news.
Check with Immaculate Conceptio church in Clarksburg WV
The church closed in the 1984, it had recently gone through a renovation on it’s interior. Beautiful stain glass windows, stone stairs, rounded doors ways and the highlight was the pipe organ. Doors did close due to Priest shortages and it was a packed house at the final mass. Not sure if that is true, seems like some politics were involved as the church was financially doing better than most if not all in the area.
The church grounds it building one it was a school my grandmother attended, building 2 the church, and building 3 the priest’s house.
It had a sister church, Holy Trinity, which was a polish church down the street next to the Jackson Park. It’s been razed since the late 90s.
I would’ve called this church more Slovak, but as other church’s closed we welcomed all.
The church was closed and sold to a art productions community but that didn’t last. As far as I know the church is vacant, I wouldn’t call it abandoned, it’s true its in too good of shape to classified as that.
Building 1 – serves as the Madonna center which is a child care center.
Next to the property was the old Clarksburg Brewing Company, where the train tracks came to the buildings docks. It has been tore down.
I was a member, in ’84 when it closed and 13yrs old, a lot of memories here.
Location is corner of E. Pike street and Florence Ave(490 E. Pike Street) Clarksburg, WV 26301
Where is this church located? I looked on Google Maps satellite at the provided address, but I assume that it is for the even older congregation location, not the address of the photographed structure. Any help is appreciated.
How can I find out to try to get this church and turn it in to an Abbey?
Apparently, it was in great shape and was in the process of being renovated at some very recent point but all work had stopped by the time we saw it. It was for sale.
Wow, that's in very good shape for being closed in 1984. Has it been used for other purposes since then?
Also, the steeple reminds me of Trinity Episcopal in Covington, KY. I can't imagine there's any connection whatsoever between the two though.