While St. James was formally established as a parish in 1843, the first Mass in Creedville (now White Oak) was celebrated in Sylvester Oehler’s barn on August 15, 1840, by the Reverend John M. Henni, S.J., pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Cincinnati. (He would later become the first Archbishop of Milwaukee.) Families like Ambrose and Eva Oehler, George and Theresa Werth, Martin Maier and Thomas Gehrlach worked hard to build a church. On May 5, 1844 that church was blessed and became the gathering place for Catholics in northwest Hamilton County. The parish school was started shortly afterwards.
St. James remained a country parish for a long time but is now a suburban community. The founding families continued to grow and many of their descendants still call St. James their parish. In 1960, the 1849 church had to be replaced with a much larger one. By the early 1970s, there were over 1400 children in the school in grades 2 through 8. The parish had become one of the largest in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Despite its size, the people of St. James continue to be a close community, sharing faith as the center of our lives. The same values that gathered families to the Oehler’s barn in 1840 continue to draw families to St. James today.
With about 2200 families, St. James is a vibrant parish, responding to the call of Jesus to spread the Gospel. Dozens and dozens of parish organizations touch the lives of parishioners and those who are not part of our Church. In 170 years, our parish has grown in size and, more importantly, matured in faith. We continue to build on the foundation laid by our ancestors to buildup the Kingdom of God.
Click below for a more detailed Church History.
Solid as an Oak - A brief History of St. James the Greater Church