The first Catholics in our area were few in number and mostly railroad men, one of the early parishioners being "Captain" Joe Doody, the senior conductor of the Cumberland Plateau saw more Catholic people arriving. Originally served for spiritual needs from the Parish of St. Boniface, Jellico (1886), Mass was offered for the residents of Corbin for the first time in 1888 by Father Narissus N. Gosselin. Father Gosselin, a diocesan priest, was the first Pastor of Jellico. By 1892, Father Jerome Feys offered Mass at Corbin on a regular basis. Mass was offered in the homes every two months with about twenty souls attending. The next Pastor in Jellico, Father Cassander, increased his visits to every month.
In 1899, Bishop Camillus Maes arranged for the Benedictine Priest from Cullman, Alabama to serve the Parish along with other Missions in the area. At this time, Corbin was assigned as a Mission of Middlesboro and was attended by Father Schuelckers, O.S.B. Fr. Giles began the building of the church in Corbin and the church dedicated to the Sacred Heart was blessed on December 10, 1899 by Bishop Maes.
With the growth of the Parish, Bishop Maes established Sacred Heart as a parish in 1902. Fr. Ambrose Reger, O.S.B. was appointed as the Pastor. Immediately, Father arranged for the Catholic School; classes were held in the church and taught by Miss Annie Rauckan, Miss Virginia Reiss, and Miss Sara O'Mahoney. The next year a school building was erected to accommodate 40 children. In 1908, Father Ambrose invited the Sisters of Divine Providence to staff Sacred Heart School. Through their zeal and effective work the school grew steadily. By 1913 land was purchased for a new modern Academy and St. Camillus Academy was opened in 1915. The children of Sacred Heart Parish then attended the Academy. Early Catholic families were, Arena, Cima, Gallagher, Hocker, Morrisey, Parker, Rivers, Seitz and Taylor.
The parish recreation hall (known by many as the Pink Hall) was built in 1945 and in 1949 a new rectory was built to replace the Priests residence in the old school. A great celebration took place in 1950 when the parish celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the church.
In 1957, the Benedictine Fathers transferred the parish back to Diocesan Priests and Father John Modica became Pastor of Sacred Heart with the Missions of Williamsburg and Jellico. In the late sixties, the parish grew to such a size that the former church was not able to accommodate the numbers. Father C.J. Heitzman began a building program and the new church was dedicated on April 23, 1972 at the new location on Master Street. By 1973, the new rectory was finished for the three priests then assigned to Corbin, the Academy and the missions.
A Rodgers Exeter 770 electronic/pipe organ was installed and blessed on October 6, 1988 replacing the Hammond organ that has served so well for so long.
The parish Respect Life Committee began a "Baby Bank" in 1986 collecting clothing, food and furniture to assist families to choose life for their babies. The St. Gerard Center was soon built and dedicated by Bishop J. Kendrick Williams on October 22, 1989 to house the Baby Bank and opportunities for Life.
After our 100th year as a Parish, we number over 200 families, still carrying on the Faith of those first Catholics. Our RCIA, Fall Festival, Parish Missions, Adult Education, Devotion to the Eucharist, Pro-life efforts, parish Council and parish Organizations help us to strengthen and share our Roman Catholic Faith.