Our church began when a group of Catholics living in Abingdon, who had been going to Marion or Bristol for Mass, met at the Abingdon Moose Lodge in mid-1974 to organize. Bishop Walter Sullivan allowed these Catholics mission status to St. Anne Catholic Church in Bristol. Father John Fahey of St. Anne said the first Mass in Abingdon on September 8, 1974 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church. December 1974, Fr. Daniel C. Bain was named pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Marion and Abingdon became its mission church.
By April of 1975, this Catholic community chose the name Christ the King and began to meet at St. John Lutheran Church, as the space at St. Thomas Episcopal was being outgrown. To this day, Christ the King maintains this long-standing spirit of cooperation and friendship with these two churches.
This Catholic community continued to grow and the parishioners determined the need to construct their own facility. A building fund pledge drive was initiated in 1980, and the parishioners responded by raising twice the amount of money that Bishop Sullivan requested be raised prior to building. Groundbreaking was held in August 1982 and actual construction began on September 7, 1982. The proud owners of the new worship center moved in on Good Friday, April 1, 1983.
Fr. Dan Bain left on sabbatical February 1983 and Fr. Carl De Souza became the new parish administrator. Fr. Dan returned to preside over the dedication ceremony of the new church, held on May 7, 1983. In June 1985, Fr. Leo Cervantes became its third pastor. Fr. Kenneth Stofft replaced him as pastor in September 1988. Fr. Ken was reassigned, and June 1989, Fr. Robert Krenik became the fifth pastor.
Under Father Bob’s 14 year tenure, the parish added many new members, and it was determined that there was need for additional space, especially for classrooms for religious education. This expansion included a larger worship space, kitchen, classrooms and a new fellowship hall. Again, a pledge drive was initiated and, again, parishioner response was overwhelming. The parish goal was greatly exceeded. This new space was dedicated on June 12, 1994, with Bishop Sullivan presiding.
Of special significance was the legacy of Charles Seger, longtime treasurer of Christ the King and one of the most beloved and devoted founding members. Because of his leadership, and because of a substantial bequest to Christ the King at his death, the Building Committee and Pastoral Council appropriately named the facility Seger Hall in his honor.
Fr. Bob was transferred September 2003, and the parish welcomed its 6 th pastor, Fr. Paul Maier. Under Fr. Paul’s leadership, the parish’s already strong religious education and youth programs flourished. Responding to his spiritual guidance, such outreach efforts as Jose’s Village and Friends of Santa have given hundreds of people far and near much needed food and assistance.
2007 marked the arrival of Deacon Dick Cronican who supported Fr. Paul and initiated an Adult Education Program and parish campus ministry at Emory & Henry College. Fr. Paul retired in 2012 and Fr. Francis Xavier Musolooza became its 7 th and current pastor that same year. Fr. Francis hails from Uganda and also serves as pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Marion. Under Fr. Francis’s direction, our worship space has been reinvigorated with kneelers, liturgical altar banners, and votive stands in homage to Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. Our sanctuary is graced with a new tabernacle, wooden flooring, and beautiful pipe organ. Committees and Ministries have flourished under Fr. Francis’s leadership. Deacon Stanley Stefanowicz served our parish 2013-14.
Christ the King has been blessed in many ways. A beautiful worship center stands on a hill as a symbol of a close-knit community called to reach out to its neighbors and the world to share its gifts.
And the story continues…