Our History

Formally established on June 15, AD 1962 by Archbishop T. J. Toolen, St. Peter the Apostle Church sits on a thirteen acre campus in Hoover, two miles north of the Cahaba River on the boundaries between Jefferson and Shelby Counties. Msgr. Edwin Bobe (1962-1967) was appointed founding pastor and his pastorate took effect on August 31, AD 1962. He was then joined by Fr. John Robinson, currently priest-in-residence at St. Peter’s Church in Hoover.

While the church was being constructed for worship, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was offered for the newly formed congregation of Our Lady of Sorrows Church, Homewood and the Vestavia Hills City Hall. A small farm house, once owned by the Dudley Family, served as the parish’s first rectory. James Adams, a local architect along with Thornton Construction Company, built the first church on the property, seating 300 persons; the first Mass was offered on December 16, AD 1962. The Church subsequently enlarged in 1970. It remained as the Church until 1980 when under the spiritual leadership of Msgr. Francis Wade (1969-1981), a new church was built and dedicated on August 9, AD 1981. A nursery and kindergarten had been established in 1967 by Msgr. Edward Foster (1967-1969). The sanctuary was beautified during the pastorate of Fr. Raymond J. Murrin (1981-1989) when he installed the Risen Christ in the church along with the Holy Family, thus befitting the practice of popular piety among the faithful. The pastorate years of Msgr. Rohling saw the enthroning of St. Joseph Worker and the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sanctuary along with the statue of St. Peter Apostle, which graces the entrance to the narthex of the church. The latter was erected in 2002, a gift of the Spina Family in honor of Mr. & Mrs. Paul J. Spina, Sr.

An extensive building program was executed during the tenure of Fr. Patrick Sullivan (1989- 2001) – Family Life Center, Gymnasium, Sullivan Hall, Child Development Center, Youth Activity Center along with religious education classrooms. A Mass of Dedication and Blessing of St. Peter the Apostle Church and Parish Facilities was offered on February 1, AD 1998.

Unique to the parish is the Church’s stained glass windows, the altar and the processional crucifix. The crucifix itself, with the exception of the Corpus, was designed and crafted by two parishioners of St. Peter’s Church, namely Wallace Williams and Floyd Hosmer. From a 1993 prayer card comes this description of the crucifix: Within the design of the overall cross are six crosses that are composed from inlaid birch and walnut . . . the outer crosses call to mind the Holy Trinity; the inner crosses remind us of the dwelling of this Trinity in each of us.

Hovering over the altar is a stained glass window of the Transfiguration, designed by Ron Dixon and crafted by Michael Mezalick of Shenandoah Fabrication and Restoration, Inc. The window also depicts events from the messianic work of Christ, among them, the nativity, the baptism in the Jordan and the institution of the Eucharist. The redemptive work of Christ also graces the window – the crown of thorns, the empty tomb, the cross on Golgotha with its insignia INRI and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In the Chapel, Mezalick and Dixon are also responsible for the stained glass windows depicting the Four Evangelists through their respective symbols of a winged-man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.

On the north wall of the chapel is a beautiful glass window representing the architectural features of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, a creation of Fr. Methodius, OCSO. The stained glass windows of the confessional and sacristy were designed and created by Carlos Schuessler. The Church also harbors thirteen stained glass windows depicting the gospel life and petrine ministry of St. Peter, the parish’s patron saint. From the Gospels come the following symbols connected with St. Peter – the dragnet, the fish, the three tents of the Transfiguration, the rooster, the basin and towel of the Last Supper, the keys of the kingdom given by Christ. From his petrine ministry one sees the following symbols – inverted Cross of St. Peter, the fisherman’s ring, papal tiara, the gospel book which symbolizes St. Peter encouraging St. Mark to write, and the chair of St. Peter. These pastelcolored windows were installed in the original church of 1962. At the request of Rev. Patrick J. Sullivan, the altar in the church was designed by Floyd Hosmer and handcrafted by Wallace Williams. Of this creation, Hosmer advocates that he designed the altar based on a spiritual reflection of the number 3, in honor of the Blessed Trinity.

Pastors of Saint Peter the Apostle Church, Birmingham

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edwin J. Bobe (1962-1967)

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Edward Foster (1967-1969)

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Francis Wade (1969-1981)

Rev. Fr. Raymond J. Murrin (1981-1989)

Rev. Fr. Patrick J. Sullivan (1989-2001)

Rev. Msgr. Paul Rohling (2001-2008)

Rev. Fr. Thomas M. Kelly, F.T.C.L. (2008-