Sunday, April 08, 2001

Church in Wilder evokes simpler times

By Gene Franzen
Enquirer Contributor

        WILDER — The quiet little town of Wilder is rapidly acquiring a metropolis-like appearance. A new four-lane highway, a multi-theater complex, an indoor/outdoor soccer facility, condominiums and upscale subdivisions all are contributing to this metamorphose.

        Resting in the center of this urban sprawl is tiny St. John the Baptist Church, one of the oldest Catholic churches in the Diocese of Covington.

[photo] St. John the Baptist Church, built in 1858, overlooks burgeoning development in Wilder.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Built in 1858 using flagstone rocks from nearby Three Mile Creek, the 143-year-old church is an interesting blend of past and present.

        While the church bell in the steeple is still rung the old-fashioned way, by the bell ringer pulling a long rope, the physically challenged have easy access to the church itself via a modern electric lift.

        The two-room school in the basement that housed grades 1-8 was closed in 1981.

        The current pastor, Rev. Richard McGrath, attended the school more than 60 years ago, as did his mother before him.

        As Wilder's population grows, so does the Parish of St. John the Baptist Church. Attending Mass at this small, old-fashioned church is a delightful step back in time, but with seating for only 92, arrive early or it's standing-room only.

       Now and Then, a look at historic places in Northern Kentucky, is published on Sundays in The Kentucky Enquirer. If there is a place you would like to see featured, call 578-5555.

Officer shoots, kills suspect
Stuck behind bars
Halfway house has long waiting list
Retarded offenders lost in courts
Workers at P&G ponder futures
Young children killed
And the bride wore leather
Patrons ponder no-mail Saturdays
Profiling stirred student's activism
PULFER: Girl Scouts
Mayor asks for donation
Milford Twp. soars to Pop. 3,254
BRONSON: 165 mph
- Church in Wilder evokes simpler times
Columbus carpet warehouse burned
Elk freed to roam Smokies
Honor comes with whimsy
Lawmakers speak at militia meeting
Louisville tries to bring back Atlantans
Mt. Healthy's McInerney leaving
Prosecutor: Pyramid cash untraceable
Sitter in kid's death: End prison term
Title firms fold; home buyers stiffed
Turfway fading in the stretch
Wounded toddler found under dead woman
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report