History of St. Thomas Church
In August of 1980, St. Thomas the Apostle Parish was formed by the Diocese of Corpus Christi on approximately ten acres of land on FM 624, in the rapidly growing community of Riverside. Fr. Louis Joseph was given the task of starting the church. Initially, Sunday Masses were said in the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Marek and Dr. and Mrs. Walter Hartman. As more people joined, the Pax Christi Residence for Girls and Magee Elementary School cafeteria served as temporary meeting places for Masses until the rectory was built.
On December 20, 1982, the parish rectory was blessed and dedicated by Bishop Thomas Drury. The rectory also served as the parish's religious education center and meeting hall. In 1984, with the parish bursting at the seams, the Kenedy Foundation granted funds providing for the construction of the religious education center, now named in honor of Sarita Kenedy East.
Due to its rapid growth, the parish, in equal financial partnership with the Kenedy Foundation, built Immaculate Conception Hall in 1988. The Church/Hall was furnished and landscaped with items donated by individual parish families, the Knights of Columbus Council #9318 and the Catholic Daughters Court #2290.
The burning of the mortgage debt on July 14, 1996 signaled
a new era for the parish. Under the leadership of Fr. Matthew
Lyng, the parish began planning for its future needs and
continuing growth, with the establishment of an ongoing building
fund. Parishioners hope this fund will help them meet their
goal of celebrating Mass in the year 2007, in a new Church.