St. James was the second Catholic Church in Las Vegas, opening in 1940 in a small concrete building. Originally mostly Latino, by the mid-1960s the parish had become largely black. The church became a staple of the black community. In the 1990s, St. James moved to its new home on Martin Luther King at Lake Mead Boulevard. It remains a vibrant, lively church that celebrates its black identity and is renowned for its fine gospel choir.
St James has been a vital force in meeting the needs of this underserved, segregated but expanding community.
The second Catholic Church in Las Vegas, St. James opened in 1940 in a small concrete building at H and Morgan streets (pictured left). Originally most parishioners were Latino, but by the mid- 1960's, the parish became largely black. Through the 1960's and 1970's, this church was served by a social activist clergy who helped the community grapple with the social problems of the day.
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The church building expanded in 1944 with a parish hall and kitchen made from two section gang houses donated by the Union Pacific RR. Three more additions were made through 1952, while at the same time St. James helped to establish both St. Viator and Our Lady of Las Vegas parishes. St. James outgrew its home by the 1990s, and the Diocese sold the property to the Deliverance churches of Fellowship International. St. James moved to its new home on Martin Luther King at Lake Mead Boulevard. It remains a vibrant, lively church that celebrates it black identity and is renowned for its fine gospel choir.