In June 1804, the congregation had begun to experience growing pains and petitioned the city for an extra lot, but since none was then available, the petition was rejected. On August 2, 1811, however, the Mayor and Aldermen of Savannah granted a petition for a larger parcel of land nearby, at Montgomery and Hull Streets; the proposed new church was never built on that property. Rather, the congregation chose a site on Drayton and Perry Streets. All of Georgia became part of the Diocese of Charleston when it was established in 1820, under Bishop John England. In 1835, Bishop England placed the cornerstone of the new church between Perry and McDonough Streets. It was constructed of brick and seated 1,000 people. On April 1, 1839, Bishop England dedicated the Church of Saint John the Baptist. The parish at this time included about one-third of the Catholic population in the state of Georgia.
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