WOODSTOCK — St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church launched the construction of a new church and the renovation of the existing church into a new Parish Hall last Saturday with a Mass and groundbreaking ceremony.
Mass was celebrated at noon by Archbishop Wilton Daniel Gregory and Father Larry Niese, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church. It was followed by a brief groundbreaking ceremony and a reception.
“We have been blessed with tremendous growth in our parish and we are looking forward to our new church building to accommodate our increasing number of families and the expanding ministries offered,” Niese said.
The groundbreaking for the new, larger church comes 16 years after the groundbreaking for the existing church, the pastor said. The shovel that was used for the initial groundbreaking was also used in the groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility.
St. Michael the Archangel Church was originally started as a mission of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Kennesaw in 1995. The first Mass at St. Michael the Archangel was held in August 1995 in the Cherokee County Recreation Center in Woodstock, with 300 families attending, the church said in a release.
In 1997, 30 acres were purchased on Arnold Mill Road as the site of St. Michael the Archangel Church. Soon after, five more adjacent acres were purchased, including a house that became the church offices and a home for the priest.
Construction was completed on the existing church in 1999. The house has now been converted into the St. Michael’s Food Pantry, serving hundreds of local families weekly.
The parish has continued to grow through the years, church workers said, and St. Michael the Archangel Church now serves about 2,500 registered families. Seven Masses are celebrated each weekend, some with standing room only, and religious education sessions and other ministries have filled the existing spaces, highlighting the need for a new, larger church.
Construction on the new church is anticipated to be completed in 12 months.
For more information, visit www.saintmichaelcc.org.