Less than a year after Glenmary assigned Father Don Tranel to begin a mission in Smith County, Tennessee, the nascent Catholic community there has acquired a permanent space for worship and parish life.
The Diocese of Nashville closed on the purchase of New Level Church Nov. 21. The local Catholic community took a loan from the diocese to cover the costs. The community, first formally organized in May, celebrated its first Mass in June. Since then they have met weekly at Carthage United Methodist Church.
“The purchase of this church lends stability and permanence to our initiative of starting a Catholic Church in Smith County,” said Father Don. “A permanent church structure will allow us to have more weekday Masses, enhance our visibility in the community, bolster our education programs, enhance our outreach efforts, attract inactive Catholics to come home and those unchurched to discern their future in the Catholic Church.”
The purchased property covers about 4 acres on Upper Ferry Road in Carthage, Tennessee, the seat of Smith County. It include two buildings, the New Level Church with four classrooms and a kitchen downstairs, and a church hall next door.