The Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, established in 1886, served the growing Catholic population south of Swan Creek with Father John Quin appointed as its first pastor.
He and parishioners constructed a small church on the bluff above the river and by 1870 had established a small school. The new parish grew so quickly that a new larger church was also erected that same year. This building, which also included a four-room school with 200 students (the origin of Darby College) remained in use until 1915 when it was razed to make room for the present school building. The parish completed and dedicated still a third church in 1895.
By 1916 the parish had about 650 families, a beautiful brick church and a state-of-the-art school building.
Sad events struck, the first being the loss of parish sons to World War 1. Then in 1920, a tinner’s pot ignited a fire that gutted the church. Reconstruction began the following year, and, on Palm Sunday, 1922, Bishop Samuel Stritch rededicated the church. The 1920’s, considered the parish’s golden age, saw a parish son… Arthur J. Sawkins… return to become it’s seventh pastor, serving for nearly forty-five years.
The demise of the railroads, the construction of the interstate highway system, and changing urban demographics took their toll on the parish, which suffered a decline until 1994, when a period of stability began in the area. The interior and exterior of the church building were completely renovated in 2004.
Since the closure of seventeen churches in 2005, many newcomers joined the parish. In that year, a record fourteen neophytes became Catholics during the Easter Vigil.
Parishioners continue to carry out the ministry of Jesus in Toledo’s south end.