Annunciation

75th Anniversary 1934-2009
Until 1934 visiting priests had the duty of celebrating Mass her in Stanly County. Father Edward Gross from the Hamlet, NC parish was known to visit Albemarle once a year in the later 1920's. Many families chose to travel by train to Salisbury to attend Mass. The actual birth date of Our Lady of the Annunciation Catholic Church came on July 1, 1934. The first masses were held in the rectory's living room by Father James Cowan. A gift of $5,000 from Our Lady of the Annunciation Parish in New York made it possible for the construction of the first church. The church building was completed on September 1, 1934. In future years the parish grew from 9 families to over 100. A new rectory and parish hall were added to the North Second Street property . Then in the summer of 1971 through a generous gift from the estate of Father Cowan and his mother the current church was built. The former church building was donated to the Albemarle Junior Women's Club and until now is located at Rock Creek Park. Interestingly the present church was designed to seat 380 people. It contains yellow pine arches and purlins which support the roof, stained glass windows that recreated scenes from the Gospel and a majestic marble altar. Today at North Second Street stand the church, rectory, Olive Rooney Pastoral Center and the large two-story Family Life Center. Beyond the physical church is a wealth of diverse growth both spiritually and community wide for us. Over the last 75 years the parish family has grown from 9 families to several hundred. Our Lady of the Annunciation has not only English masses but Hispanic and Hmong masses as well. Over the years this parish has participated in many community affairs including Meals-on-Wheels, the Community Christmas dinner and prison ministry. Several of our organizations have been involved in even larger events. The Daughter's of Mary have sponsored a room at a battered women's shelter, the Knights of Columbus help raise money for special needs children through their LAMB program and our youth have visited Washington, DC for the Right for Life march. Other activities shared by all include holiday programs, parish dinners and the ever-popular parish picnic. The church has also sponsored a Thailand refuge family, young seminarians and a mission church in Biscoe. Historically the church has grown from immigrants to Stanly County. Even the parish's longest-standing member, Genevieve Fesperman, was brought here by Father Cowan to be adopted. By definition of the Magisterium of the Church we are a pilgrim church. Interestingly enough members in the past looked to the future and this is what they hoped for. "From diverse and rather fluid group of people we may find the issue of a new generation of Catholics who will be the native born in the year 2009; at Annunciation we will take the message of Our Lord into the next generation of Catholics living and growing in our parish." This future is here.

Here is a list of the priests who have faithfully serves this church over the past 75 years. They are the men who answered God's call and became shepherds to a flock of Christian souls in Stanly and Montgomery counties:

1934-1968 Father James A. Cowan
1946-1947 Father Thomas E. Curran 
1969-1973 Father Anthony Kovacic
1973-1977 Father M. Joseph Kelleher
1977-1979 Father Wilbur N. Thomas
1979-1981 Father Gabriel Meehan
1981-1983 Father Carlo Di Natale Tarasi
1983-1986 Father Carl T. Del Giudice
1986-1988 Father Frank Cancro
1988-1990 Father Vincent Zollo
1990-1996 Father Raymon Hourihan
1996-1999 Father Joseph Ayathupadam
1999-2004 Father Lawrence W. Heiney
2004-Present Father Peter L. Fitzgibbons

704-982-2910