About Us

St. Michael Catholic Church had a modest, humble beginning, just five years prior to the start of the Civil War. The congregation dates back to 1856 when Plymouth area Catholics purchased lots on the east side of Center Street between Madison and Monroe streets for a mere $500.

In 1863, a substantial frame structure was built with a 250-seat capacity. The church was dedicated in September 1863 by Bishop John Henry Luers. Rev. Gabriel Volkert was assigned to be its first pastor.

With the arrival of Rev. George Zurwellen in 1869, new momentum was placed in church activities and the parish grew spiritually and expanded its facilities. The first St. Michael's Academy was built for $12,000. A large bell was acquired for the belfry and four acres was purchased for a new cemetery. Rev. Zurwellen's forethought into the parish's growth, he precipitated the move to purchase three lots across the street where the current church is located, closing the deal on November 20, 1872.

During Rev. John Tremmel's 25-year pastorate (1905-1930) the new church was built along with the new rectory, which faces Walnut Street.

During Rev. Lawrence Eberle's pastorate (1930-1953), the congregation grew to more than 400 families. He organized the Holy Name Society, the Catholic Young People's Club and the Knights of Columbus Auxiliary. Under Msgr. Adrian Brandehoff (1953-1956), St. Michael's School was built. It was dedicated in September, 1954.

When Rev. David Voors was pastor, the church underwent a $222,000 restoration funded by pledges from parishioners. The renovated church was rededicated on June 5, 1994.

In 1999, under Rev. Anthony Gillespie's pastorate (1997- 2002), an addition was added to St. Michael School which included a science/art room, four classrooms (preschool, kindergarten, grade 7 and grade 8), and a gymnasium with a stage and storage area.

The pastorate of Rev. William J. Kummer (2002-2013) saw the dedication of a $1 million playground on September 29, 2009, the feast of St. Michael. The playground encompassed a full city block and included the purchase and demolition of two properties that included King’s Kiddie Kollege.

One year later, the parish celebrated the 100th anniversary of the laying of the church cornerstone.

On September 29, 2013, the feast of Saint Michael, the parish concluded the year-long celebration of its Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) with a special closing Mass and dinner.

On July 16, 2013, Rev. John S. Korcsmar, C.S.C. was appointed pastor, replacing Rev. William J. Kummer.

Contributors: Phil Powers, Ida Chipman, Today’s Catholic.