Parish History

Sapulpa first appeared in Catholic records in 1893. The national Catholic Directory also mentions that Father William H. Ketcham, pastor of Muskogee, was making occasional visits to Sapulpa when George Perryman, principal chief of the Creek Nation gave a letter to "Reverend Father W.H. Ketcham, Roman Catholic
Missionary to the Creeks and Cherokees, dated April 26, 1894, and says simply, "You are hereby permitted to erect a church building at Sapulpa, Creek Nation, I.T., for the purpose of your religious necessities. "The Muskogee pastor continued to attend to Sapulpa until 1899 when Holy Family parish was established in Tulsa, and
Holy Family served Sapulpa.

In 1907 a white frame church building was erected on the corner of Elm and Lincoln.  At this time Sapulpa's Sacred Heart Mission was made a parish and a rectory was built later that same year. During this time Fr. Van Eyck was pastor.  In 1922, the old church was replaced with a Jacobean Gothic brick structure and the rectory was constructed later in the same year.  In 1929 Fr. James Rooney arrived in Sapulpa and was pastor to over 400 families until 1941 when Fr. John Lynch was assigned to Sapulpa.   Fr. John Lynch remained in Sapulpa until 1943 when he joined the Armed Services and Fr. Francis Neville came to Sapulpa and in 1947 established a parish school and convent.

The following dates are cornerstones in the development and progress of Sacred Heart Church and it's parish following Fr. John Lynch's departure to join the armed forces.


1943 – 1964    Fr. Francis X. Neville 

1964 – 1965    Fr. Joseph Kolb

1965 – 1972    Fr. Patrick Murtagh

1971                Sacred Heart Catholic School closes  

1972 – 1972    Fr. James Greiner

1973 – 1981    Fr. Thomas K. Melton 

1982                Sacred Heart's 75th Anniversary 

1981 – 1984    Fr. Neal Brogan  

1982                Deacon Noel Hollingshead ordained  

1984 – 1996    Fr. Daniel C. Keohane

1987                Deacon Francis Decker ordained  

1988                Deacon Noel Hollingshead moves to Sand Springs  

1989                Deacon Robert Washko ordained 
                        Deacon Robert Schmidt ordained

1989                The new Church dedicated

1991                The Rectory dedication September 22nd

1995                Deacon Bob Schmidt passes away Deacon Robert Washko moves to Gutherie

1996 – 2000    Fr. Jake Males retires

2000 - 2002     Fr. Charles Hewawasam

2001                Deacon Mark Pittman ordained, Our Lady of Lourdes dedicated, Construction of the Stations of the Cross Gardens began

2002                Dedication of the Station of the Cross Gardens

2002 - 2007     Fr. Stuart Crevcour

2007-2014       Fr. Jovita Okonkwo 

2014- present  Fr. Louis Obirieze

2017                Deacon Vince Greuel ordained - 2021 Reassigned to St. Bernard Parish             

2021                Deacon Greg Stice

Sacred Heart parish has grown during the past 95 years.  From the little "church building" that Missionary Fr. W. H. Ketcham was permitted to build, to Fr. Francis Neville establishing a parish school, and the move to Fr. Daniel C. Keohane's "glorious" new home on 1777 E. Grayson.  Today the parish enjoys Fr. Charles Hewawasam's vision of the serenity of Sacred Heart's beautiful grounds, with Our Lady of Lourdes garden and the Stations of the Cross meditation gardens.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church was established the same year Oklahoma became a state. It maintained a vital part of Christianity to Sapulpa and the state of Oklahoma. We thank God for the many priests and religious that have given their guidance, prayers and spiritual leadership to our parish.  In 2007 we celebrated our 100th anniversary.