St. Joseph Academy - Waycross, Georgia

A Historical Review

Waycross Catholic School photo

The St. Joseph Catholic parish in Waycross, Georgia was originally part of the network of Spanish Franciscan missions extending along the Georgia coast in the 1500's. Father Pedro da Corpa founded a mission at Tolomato, near present day Darien, in 1587. Father Francisco de Verascola headed the mission at Asao on St Simons Island. Hundreds of years later the British arrived and St. Joseph parish was reorganized as a mission from Brunswick in 1871. Father Charles Prendergast of Albany celebrated the first mass in Waycross, Georgia in 1871. Diocesan priests were in charge until 1897 and since that time the Marist Fathers of Brunswick have been in charge.

Bishop Thomas A. Becker dedicated the first St. Joseph Catholic Church of Waycross in 1889. This building was almost destroyed by a hurricane in 1896. The Catholics of Waycross, led by Marist Father P.J. Luckie built a new church on Teabeau Street, which was blessed in 1899. The Marist fathers from Brunswick visited Waycross once a month to say Mass in Waycross. During the 1920's, Mass began to be said each Sunday in Waycross. The mission was formally made a Catholic parish in June 1960.

St. Joseph Academy (SJA) teachers were provided by the Catholic Sisters of St. Francis. The Order of the Sisters of St. Francis of Allegany, founded in 1859 by Fr. Pamphilo, opened the Academy in Waycross in September 1948. SJA was officially dedicated on December 19, 1949. The school was designed by W.D. Tollerton, a Waycross, Georgia architect and built by Paul M. Kesling, a local contractor. The sisters staffed the school from 1948 until 1972. In 1969, a decision was made to add on to the school and it was completed in 1970. Although a Catholic school, the non-catholic enrollement exceeded the Catholic enrollment throughout much of the school's history. SJA Catholic school in Waycross closed in June 1976.


An additional goal of this site is to serve as a repository for information regarding the alumni and faculty of St Joseph Academy Catholic school, Waycross, Georgia. Special thanks to Joe Ballentine of Waycross for his generous contribution of photographs. For further information or to participate in further development please e-mail: Contact.

If you have any additional information about St Joseph Academy Waycross, Georgia please contact us and contribute.  The following are alumni students who have been identified to date with St Joseph Academy Waycross, Georgia.

Alumni Hall

Marty Karle Paul Coughlin Carla Scott Clinton Andersen Randall Boyle
James Culberson Susan Lennihan Buckner Patricia Leslie William Brewster Raymona Germano
Debra Paradise Osborn McDonald John White Leonard Music Mellany Blount
Raymond Raulerson Joseph Palmer Martha Monroe Andrea Flesch Madison Dougherty
William Coughlin Beckie White Tonya Tucker Catherine Smith Craig Scott
Jo Moore Daniel Karle Stephen Karle Mary Higginbotham Timothy Dixon
Walter Culberson Mary Coughlin Corbett Rodney Boyle Georgina White Julian Tonning
Matthew Rudisail William Reynolds Michael Pearce Kenneth McDonald Joseph Iniguez
Joy Blount Bradley Wihebrink Delon Tucker Elizabeth Tonning Mary Ellen Renn
Moi Monroe Douglas McClellan Joseph Martinez Lydia Hall Audrey Dixon
Daniel Coyle Barry Brown Barry Tonning Marta King Jerome Dowling
Rusty McDonald Stephen Nimmer Barbara Tonnning Miller Pamela Music Lia Aiken
Cynthia Bawkin Betty Tonning Dixon Russell Tonning Joe Tonning Mary Karle
Melena Courson Jo Ann Fulford James Merk Linda Marie Taliani Mike Williams
Marka Pearce Samantha Smith Tim Thompson Mark Williams Mike Williams
William Coughlin Greg Coughlin Cecilia Coughlin Vianney Coughlin Melena Carpenter Courson
Jo Ann Smith Fulford James Merk Marka Pearce Mary Ellen Geick Renn Linda Marie Carter Taliani
Patsy Tuell Moore Mark Williams Michael Palmer Michele Palmer Harris Wanda Corbett Peterson
Marrion Corbett Phipps Ricky McDaniel

St Joseph Academy Waycross, Georgia Faculty Members