Saint Benedict the Moor Catholic Church Collection (SMC 37)
Organizational Note The church began as a result of a meeting called by a
layman where it was decided that the home of the Edward Cox family,
located on the corner of Rigdon Road and Baldwin Street in
Columbus, Georgia would be used as the “home parish”
for the purpose of offering mass to serve the primarily
African-American community of the neighborhood.
The first mass was offered there on February 22, 1956 by Father Gregory Putzer, S.D.S, while Father Roger Miller, S.D.S., served as priest-in-charge. Shortly thereafter this property was purchased to build a church. In May of 1958, the now demolished parish hall and adjoining rooms were built to serve as the first church and rectory.
Saint Benedict was canonically established as a parish in April of 1959. Father Augustine Lucca, S.D.S., was appointed the first pastor. Father Behr took up residence at Saint Benedict's rectory in June of 1960, becoming the first resident pastor of the church. He was succeeded by Father Mark Sterbenz, S.D.S.
On June 4, 1961 ground was broken for a larger place to worship. Pound Construction Company of Columbus was hired for the building project. Upon completion, each family of the church bought a pew to be placed in the new sanctuary, located at 2935 9th Street. In 1967 a new rectory was built on 9th Street and Rigdon Road to give the priest a more comfortable place to live. A community hall was also added in 1984.