The parish was founded in 1893. In that year a mission church was established by the pastor of St. Michael, Elizabeth in the nearby town of Gastonville. The new mission was visited once a month for Mass. In 1903, responsibility for St. Francis was transferred to Holy Angels, Hays. In July 1904, St. Francis became an independent parish with the arrival of the first resident pastor.
The new pastor determined that the growing congregation needed a larger church. Property was acquired in Finleyville for the new church. The cornerstone of the church was laid on May 15, 1907, and the completed church was dedicated on November 3, 1907. Although the church has been renovated several times over the years, it continued to serve the congregation for many decades.
However, by 1972 the congregation had outgrown its church. In that year the parish moved their weekend Masses from the church into the newly built all purpose Finley Hall. They continued to use the church for weekday Masses and for services that tended to attract relatively few people, such as baptisms, weddings and funerals.
This situation continued for over 35 years. Finally, on August 9, 2009, the parish broke ground for a new 700 seat church. Work progressed rapidly and the new church was dedicated on May 16, 2010.
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