St. William Catholic Church

~~~ Since 1895 ~~~

The Beginning

Jeremiah Dunovant, a stonemason from Ireland, is responsible for the Catholic Church being in Mine Creek, South Carolina.  Dunovant came from Ireland and helped to build beautiful St. Mary's Church in Edgefield in 1859.  After completing the work on St. Mary's, Dunovant moved to a small farm and settled in an area that was then called the Mine Creek Community.  While living there, Jeremiah Dunovant met and married Emiline Rodgers Salter who was instructed in the Catholic faith by her husband and became a convert to the Catholic religion.  Jeremiah Dunovant's home housed a chapel that was the first Catholic Church in Saluda County.  Soon there were more converts to the Catholic religion including Emiline's sister-in-law, Mary Rodgers, wife of Uncle Billie Rodgers.  Mary's children also joined the church.  Since there were many new converts, Jeremiah Dunovant needed a new church in Mine Creek.  He went to all of the nearby non-Catholic churches, as services let out, and asked each worshiper for money to build a Catholic Church.

The Buildings

Jeremiah Dunovant built St. Joseph, the first Catholic Church in the Mine Creek area, on two acres of land set aside for a church and a cemetery.  This is the present-day site of St. William's Church Cemetery.  Although a church was built, a priest only made the journey to St. Joseph's a few times a year.  Jeremiah Dunovant died on August 3, 1899, at the age of 82, and was buried near the front of St. Joseph.  He never realized his dream of a full-time priest for St. Joseph.  In 1919, Fr. LaRiviere, the first resident priest, came to serve the small church.  In the early 1920s, Mr. George Rodgers deeded the Diocese of Charleston, first 1 acre, then 3.85 acres on the Ridge Spring Highway, and plans were made to build a new church.  The parishioners, with the guidance and direction of Fr. Dietz, built the new church, St. William.  All of the buildings, which included a church, convent, school and rectory, were of frame structure and made of lumber that was cut, planed, and dressed by the parishioners.  These new buildings had all the modern conveniences of its time, including plumbing and heating.  Since then a few changes have been made to the church to give it its present-day look.

Our Priests

 1884 - 1885
 Fr. P.J. Wilson
 1886 Fr. James J. Doherty
 1887

 Fr. J.J. Wedenfeller

 Fr. F.A. McConrell

 1888 - 1889

 Fr. J.J. Hill

 Fr. Thomas Kelly

 1890 Fr. N.J. Foley
 1891 - 1895
 Fr. F.A. Schmedtz
 1895 - 1898
 Fr. A.K. Gwynn
 1899 - 1906
 Fr. John L. Seidel
 1907 Fr. John J. Hughes
 1908 - 1916
 Fr. Dennis P. Lanigan
 1916 Fr. D.M. O'Brien
 1917 - 1919
 Fr. Michael P. LaRiviere
 1929 - 1938
 Fr. Antunez Dietz
 1933 Fr. Albert McEvoy, assistant
 1934 - 1938
 Fr. Alexander Calner, assistant
 1938

 Fr. William J. Cox

 Fr. George L. Smith, assistant

 1938 - 1944
 Fr. George Dietz
 1945 Dr. Patrick A. Ryan, S.J.
 1946 - 1947
 Oratorians: Fr. John Nedley and Fr. Henrey Tevlin
 1947 Fr. Theodore Cilwick
 1948 Fr. Gerald Ernst
 1949 Fr. Leon Hubacz
 1950 - 1952
 Fr. Theodore Cilwick
 1953 - 1955
 Fr. Frederick Suggs
 1956 - 1989

 Trinitarians: Fr. Mark Ritzen

 Fr. Bede  Wattney

 Fr.  Jim "Leo" McCarthey

 Fr. Bernardine Bouland

 Fr. Pierce O'Connell

 Fr. Vernon Danniman

 1989 - 1990
 Fr. Bernadine Bouland
 1990

 Fr. James O'Bryan

 Fr. William Burn

 1990 - 2009
 Fr. Robert Ninedorf
 1996 - 2011 Rev. Mr. John Klein, Parish Life Facilitator
 2009 - 2012
 Fr. Noel Tria
 2012 - Present
 Fr. Jose Rodolfo Lache-Avila
 2015 - Present
 Fr. Robert F. Higgins