About Us

Parish History

Prompted by concern for the growing number of Catholic cadets at Clemson College, James Gallivan of Greenville donated funds for the first Catholic Church in Pickens County in 1935. The Gothic-style chapel, located at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Sloan Street in Clemson, is constructed of granite quarried in Elberton, Georgia. The magnificent stained glass windows were created by American artists with imported materials considered to be the finest of the time.

Saint Andrew Chapel, as well as Saint Francis of Assisi Church in Walhalla, was a mission of Saint Joseph Church in Anderson until 1940. At that time a parish of 10,000 square miles was created. The new Saint Andrew Parish included Oconee and Pickens Counties and parts of northern Anderson County. The Paulist Fathers staffed the parish for the next 66 years. In 1996 Father Alexander McDonald became the first Diocesan priest to pastor the parish.

Saint Andrew Chapel has a seating capacity of 84. With a combined student and local resident Catholic
population of only 48 at the time of its construction, Bishop Emmet Walsh commented to the 30 or
so people attending the dedication on December 8, 1935, “Perhaps we have overbuilt.” Today the
sprawling parish includes three churches (Saint Andrew in Clemson, built in 1981; Saint Francis of Assisi
in Walhalla, built in 1916; and Saint Paul the Apostle, built in 1994). There are now approximately 1,664 registered parishioners. Father Gregory West is the pastor.

Saint Andrew Parish also provides Campus Ministry for students at Clemson University and other area colleges.


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