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.
       



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