St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Escanaba has made great strides since its inception more than 50 years ago. The prosperity of parish life has been illustrated by construction of a modern parish plant, support of a parish grade school, and the people's outreach efforts.
Founding. In the summer of 1948, Bishop Thomas L. Noa approved a petition for a church on the north side of Escanaba. More than 300 people signed the plea. The new church, being the first established by Bishop Noa, was named after his patron saint.
The first Masses were offered in the Webster School gymnasium and later in the Exhibition Building at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds. A small temporary chapel was set up on a sandy lot, home to a baseball diamond, on Ninth Avenue North. Measuring just 75 feet by 24 feet, the church soon became too small for the growing parish so the Knights of Columbus lent a portion of its clubhouse for use as a side chapel.