About Us


Church of the Holy Family consists of over 400 registered families who are involved in our ministries and service to the Church. Please prayerfully consider using your Time and Talent to support furthering the message of Christ through our Ministries.

Parish History

The names of Saints Philip and James was chosen for the first church. Its first resident pastor, the Rev. James Graham, was assigned there in 1835. The early church served 12-15 families. There are no pictures of the Church of Saints Philip and James, but it was remembered as a humble, wooden structure.

During the war years of 1861-1865, a band of sisters, fleeing from the threatened bombardment of their city, St. Augustine, Florida, arrived in Columbus in 1862. They opened a school a block above the Saints Philip and James Church until 1870, then purchased the Shorter home and moved “uptown” where a day school for educating both Catholics and non-Catholics was established.

Saints Philip and James Church continued in use until the present Church of the Holy Family was built in 1880. The Sisters of Mercy rose garden at the corner of 12th Street and 4th Avenue (now known as Veteran’s Parkway), was the ideal site for the church. The church was designed and built by Daniel Matthew Foley who had already designed sixteen churches throughout the country, but this became his finest effort incorporating both Byzantine and Gothic architectural elements. The new church was dedicated May 12, 1880.

Over the years there have been necessary renovations, the most notable were in 1945, 1965, a partial renovation in1990, and the most recent in 2008. As on can see the church is full of symbols of the faith, the apostles, important scenes in the life of Christ and his family, glorious stained glass windows and statues.

Land History

The city of Columbus was founded in 1828. Building lots were open for sale that same year. The block between what is now 11th and 12th Streets and 2nd and 3rd Avenues was ceded to the Methodists and Baptists and remains there today. This is the only one of the original “church squares” left.

On December 28, 1831 the legislature granted a request from the early Catholic settlers and Presbyterians for a block of land for religious purposes. On May 2, 1831 Governor Wilson Lumpkin signed the proclamation. The property was a full city block lying between what is now 7th and 8th Streets and 2nd and 3rd Avenues, with a wide alley separating the two parcels of land. On old city maps, this diving line is called “Chapel Alley” and survives today as Chapel Street. The Presbyterians never built there and later sold their holdings. The Catholics built on the property. There was a church and a rectory on the north half of the property facing 2nd Avenue. No trace remains of the old church, but the rectory was moved in the 1970’s to 412 Broadway in the Columbus Historic District, restored and served as the home of the Columbus Convention and Visitor’s Bureau for many years.