Welcome! Or as we say in Ireland ~ Cead Mile Failte
(A Hundred Thousand Welcome)

History of our Parish

church exterior
Our expectant Mary

St. Paul Catholic Church was established on June 1, 1978 by Bishop Joseph B. Brunini of Jackson, to serve the Catholic community of Rankin County, Mississippi. The native Mississippian pastor, Reverend Edward Tarsi celebrated the first Mass at St. Paul Catholic Church in a trailer housed on the property of the St. Mark United Methodist Church. A new Rectory was purchased on Bellegrove Blvd. for its resident pastor.
In 1980, the fledgling parish purchased 10 acres of land along Highway 25 for a permanent structure and moved to a temporary church structure on Grant’s Ferry Road. On July 12, 1982, the ground-breaking ceremony for the new church on the Lakeland Drive property was held with Bishop Brunini, Father Tarsi, and parish leaders all wielding shovels. In 1984, St. Paul’s parishioners moved into their permanent home, an elegantly modernistic church designed by the acclaimed late Sam Mockbee of the architectural firm, Goodman & Mockbee. St. Paul Catholic Church was formally dedicated on June 19th by both Bishop William Houck and Bishop Joseph B. Brunini, the now retired Bishop of Jackson. The temporary dwelling on Grant’s Ferry Road was relocated and annexed to the new church to facilitate the St. Paul Religious Education classes. It was replaced by the St. Paul Learning Center in 1990, which serves as a full-time day care and preschool on weekdays.
The growing parish, now a flourishing community, sponsored an extensive building campaign in the early 2000’s for a place to congregate and socialize. The construction of a beautiful new Family Life Center designed by the architectural firm of JH&H Architects was completed in 2003 and formally dedicated by Bishop Joseph Latino on July 11, 2004.
Today St. Paul Catholic Church is the spiritual home for over 800 families in North Rankin County, Mississippi, serving the cities of Flowood and Brandon, and surrounding communities. The priest and lay community are dedicated to supporting and nurturing the growth of members of all ages and at all levels of spiritual maturity. A warm and hospitable environment in which to worship, St. Paul Catholic Church continues to expand its offerings to provide its parishioners with the environment, study programs, and prayer support needed to live a holy life. Our mission is to “Live as the Body of Christ.” We do this by our commitment to Hospitality, Prayer, Ministry, and Discipleship.

About our Pastor

Fr. Gerry Hurley was born January 25, 1952 in Cork City, Ireland. He was greatly influenced by the priests around him and answered the call to the priesthood, himself. He graduated from Carlow College and was ordained on June 12, 1976. He earned a Master of Science from Mississippi State University in 1993.

While visiting Dioceses in the U.S., Fr. Gerry made a trip to Mississippi and decided to make this his home. He has served the Diocese of Jackson his entire career including St. Paul Vicksburg, St. Joseph Greenville, Diocesan Youth Director, St. Richard Jackson, St. Joseph Starkville, Annunciation Columbus, St. Jude Pearl, and St. Paul Flowood.

History of Pastors

~ 1978:  Father Edward Tarsi, a Mississippi native, was appointed as the first pastor on August 1, 1978. He served 7 years at St. Paul.
~ 1985:  Father Edward Balser, a Mississippi native, was appointed pastor on September 20, 1985. He served 12 years at St. Paul.

~1998:  Father Brian Carroll, a native of Ireland, was appointed pastor on January15, 1998. He served 12 years at St. Paul. On August 22, 2002, Father Carroll celebrated the 40th anniversary of his Ordination to the Priesthood and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was instituted at St. Paul.
~ 2003: Father Pat Smith was appointed associate pastor on December 20th.

About our Logo


Our St. Paul logo was designed by fellow parishioner Lori Brechtel, a graphic designer. Lori put great thought and detail into its design. She began by seeking out a symbol of our church that would be readily identifiable to all of our members — the circular, quartered round window on our building.

The yellow, starburst portion represents the light of Christ that blinded Paul, and that light which we show to each other among our congregation, and others. It is “bursting” from the confines of our own church and radiating into the world. The red portion represents the sin of Paul, and of all of us, despite which we can still be used by God. The green and blue portions represent the outside world, and remind us of what we see out of the actual window.

The letter “t” in our name resembles a dagger or sword, which is another reference to Paul’s former life, and also the verse in Hebrews about the Word of God being sharper than any double-edged sword.

With the logo, we become more than just “that Catholic church on Highway 25.” We become an effective instrument to spread the Gospel in our community, with the same passion as the saint for which we are named.