St. Jude’s Roman Catholic Church

St Judes

…at 2048 West Fairview was constructed in 1937 as the first step in Father Harold Percell’s dream to come South and erect “a city dedicated to the religious, charitable, educational, and industrial advancement of the Negro people”.  Percell had architectural talent, and he felt that red brick Romanesque  was the appropriate style for the masses. He went on to add a school, hospital, shops, athletic facilities and housing, all of which were part of his 40-acre “City of St Jude”, as it is called even today. Father Percell died in 1952, shortly after I moved here, but these grounds and facilities played an important part in Martin Luther King’s Selma March in 1965.

St Jude Postcard

A postcard view of the church taken shortly after it was constructed. This image provides a much better understanding of Father Purcell’s concept.

-Charles Humphries

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