Twohig is not aware of another Independent Catholic Church in West Virginia previously or now. Father Jeremy Wheeler is working to establish a church in Ashland that will serve Marshall University students as needed, he said. Father Michael Byble of Teays Valley is working to establish Holy Family Independent Old Catholic Church.
"The three of us work together to grow our communion," Twohig said.
While not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, St. Michael shares the same liturgy and celebrates the seven sacraments.
"We have an unbroken line of succession from St. Peter," he said. "Our holy orders are bishop, priest and deacon."
Sacraments include baptism, confirmation, communion, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony.
"We believe that Jesus is the Christ and our personal savior," he said. "We believe in the holy trinity."
The church also believes in the divine inspiration of scriptures. While belief is strong in the sanctity of marriage, those who have been divorced or remarried are offered the sacraments of the church.
"This is strictly a Catholic mass," he said. "We have communion every Sunday. We believe this is the real body and blood of Christ. It is open communion for anyone who believes and has been baptized.
"Our mission is to carry the gospel, the sacraments, and God's love and fellowship to the unchurched, the alienated, and the excommunicated," he said.
Twohig, who holds a degree in economics from West Virginia State, is state network coordinator for the West Virginia Small Business Development Center.
He and his wife are also known in the community for teaching dance through the Charleston Area Shag Society. That organization has donated $2,000 in canned food to Union Mission. The group has also held clothing drives and purchased furniture and toys for the needy. Some have attended church services at St. Michael.
Twohig has had extensive training in the Catholic faith including pre-formation and seminary training. The Capuchin Pre-Candidacy Formation Program was a multi-year training program for high school students. Summers were spent on retreats at St. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, Pa. He attended Advent International Catholic Seminary.
Twohig has found his niche and peace of mind.
"I always felt the calling," he said. "As I got older, I felt God wanted something more of me. I believe God put me here at this time to show me direction. I don't see myself retiring. It has been more than fulfilling. It's God's work. The most rewarding thing is bringing people to God and bringing God to people."
He hopes the church will continue to grow and one day have a building.
For now parishioners meet in borrowed space and try to do community outreach with the most impact. Parishioners have donated money, canned goods and clothing to local charities.
Contact writer Charlotte Ferrell Smith at charlo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1246.