St. William Mission Church, Gainesville, MO, Founded 1958

St. William Mission Church, Ava, MO (circa 2010)
St. William Mission Church, Ava, MO (circa 2010)

General parish info

Contact info
Pastor: Fr. Paul Wightman, OMI
Associate Pastor: Fr. Leo Arockiasamy, HGN
CRE: Sheri Richardson

Mailing address: St. William Mission Church, PO Box 367, Gainesville, MO 65655-0367

All schedules subject to change. Please call parish offices above to verify.

Weekend Mass times

8:30 a.m.
4:30 p.m.


8 a.m.
4 p.m.

Updated: 07-10-17



Fr. Sylvester W. Bauer headed a team ministry that served four counties from West Plains. The monsignor was planning the original church in Gainesville when he noticed a lovely old fallen tree and realized what a striking altar it would make. He went on to design oversee the building of St. William’s Church.

There had been a Catholic church in Udall (St. Helen), but so few people came to it that it was closed. However the number of annual tourists called for a small chapel in Gainesville for Sunday worship. Fr. Bauer expected about 35 people for the first service. More than 100 showed up. Today more than 150 parishioners are enrolled. The stone church with its log altar has been expanded by the completion of a new addition for meetings and other assemblies. It is big enough to hold the entire parish if need be.

Priests served

Deragowski, Msgr. Eugene J., Apr 23, 1960 – Jun 15, 1965
Hahn, Fr. Quentin V., Jan 1962 – Aug 1964
Schmittzehe, Fr. Franklin, Jun 15, 1965 – Jan 4, 1971
Brownfield, Fr. Frowin V. M., Jan 4, 1971 – Feb 1, 1973
Binder, Fr. Mark J. (Parochial Administrator), May 1, 1974 – Sep 1, 1975
Wightman, Fr. Paul, OMI, (Canonical Pastor), 1976 – 1983, Aug 1, 2004 –
     Weidenbenner, Fr. Joseph (Sacramental Assistant), Aug 16, 2007 – Jun 30, 2008
     Isidor, Fr. Rahab (Sacramental Assistant), Jul 1, 2008 – Jun 30, 2009
     Fasching, Fr. Jeffery (Sacramental Assistant), Jul 1, 2009 – Oct 10, 2015
     Hoa Le, Fr. Mark M., CMC, (Sacramental Assistant), Oct 11, 2015 – Jul 31, 2016
     Dunn, Fr. Charles, (Sacramental Assistant), Aug 1, 2016 – Jul 5, 2017
 Arockiasamy, Fr. Leo, HGN, (Associate Pastor), Jul 6, 2017 –

Above is compiled from diocesan archives.
“D” designates information compiled from The Catholic Directory or Year Book.

Parish related

GPS coordinates: N36° 35.967’, W092° 26.569’ (click here for map)
Physical address: St. William Mission Church, Hwy 166, Gainesville, MO

Attended from: Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Mansfield, MO

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