In 1864, Archbishop Martin John Spalding decided to erect several church buildings in the archdiocese. One of these was St. Joseph’s in Sykesville. On September 9, 1865 Dr. and Mrs. Owings donated the ground for the church building to the archdiocese. In August 1867, the cornerstone of the first Sykesville church building (now at the corner of Main and Sandosky Streets), was laid.
The building was used for services even before the roof was in place. The rear wall collapsed before completion and wasn’t replaced until five years later. Finally, in 1873, construction of the Sykesville church building was completed. In the early years, the Redemptorist Fathers from Ilchester and the Jesuits from Woodstock College served the little mission congregation. In 1892, St. Joseph’s became the headquarters for the Sykesville, Poplar Springs and Harrisonville Missions. Fr. Nolan oversaw this new mission area. Fr. Tawes (1893-1896) succeeded Fr. Nolan and was responsible for purchasing the first rectory.
In 1904, Holy Family in Harrisonville was separated from the Sykesville Mission, but the two were joined again in 1919 and remained united under the same pastor until 1946. From 1904 to 1946, there was a great progression of pastors. It was during these years that one of the later pastors sold the rectory to Bill Brandenburg for $2,700.
Between 1940 and 1946, a number of renovations were carried out in the church building. It was said that St. Joseph’s in Sykesville “is not only the most attractive in its decorative scheme, but it is the last word in liturgical exactitude.”
In 1946, St. Joseph’s and Holy Family became separate parishes and Fr. Joseph Amon became the first full-time pastor of St. Joseph’s (1946-1950). He lived with a family from the parish until he bought a cottage on Central Avenue to serve as a rectory. It was at his request that the women of the Sanctuary Society began St. Joseph’s CYO on January 30, 1949.
While Father Keydash was pastor (1950-53), he established the rectory at the James 0. Ridgely house and improved it by adding modem plumbing and finishing the attic. It was the next pastor, Fr. Joseph Josaitis, (1953-54), who formed a young people’s choir and instituted religious study groups in the homes of some of the parish teenagers’ families.
Following Fr. Josaitis as pastor, Msgr. Austin Healy (1954-57) improved the Sunday school program and provided activities for the young people. In 1955, he established the executive board of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD), comprised of a dozen or so parishioners. This organization was seen as the forerunner of the parish councils of today. During his pastorate, the church building underwent some major renovations to accommodate the new parish families.
Fr. John P. Kelly served as pastor from 1957–62 with Fr. Howard Metzger as an associate. In 1961, Fr. Kelly realized that the expanding population of the Sykesville area would require a larger worship space and asked the men of the Holy Name Society to look for a suitable site.
In 2018, the SJCC 150 Committee hosted a Father’s Day event at the Historic site. Money raised in during the Jubilee Campaign was used to update the original Church. Today, the Church is used for Baptisms, Weddings, Meetings and more. Including allowing Saint Timothy’s Church to hold Mass there every Sunday at 10:00 am.