St. Augustine Catholic celebrates 80 years in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of Tennessee’s oldest predominantly African-American Catholic congregations, St. Augustine Catholic church in South Memphis, celebrated its 80th anniversary this weekend.

Parishioners had a picnic and lunch at the church Saturday, followed by a celebratory banquet at the Holiday Inn at University of Memphis featuring a keynote speech by Douglas Porter, a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and son of St. Augustine/Father Bertrand high school football coach W.P. Porter.

The anniversary ended with a mass presided over by Bishop Martin D. Holley, head of the Catholic Diocese of Memphis.

St. Augustine is at 1169 Kerr Ave., just south of Bellevue. Its original location was 903 Walker, next door to LeMoyne-Owen College.

St. Augustine Catholic was established in 1937. By 1950 St. Augustine’s high school was the largest Catholic school (black or white) in the state of Tennessee with an enrollment of 625 students.