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Sacred Spaces: These are the most beautiful churches in Houston

By Alison Medley

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  • South Main Baptist Church has won a 2src2src Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for restoring its historic sanctuary (193src) in Midtown Photo: Hester + Hardaway, Photographer / © 2src17 Hester + Hardaway

    South Main Baptist Church has won a 2020 Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for restoring its historic sanctuary (1930) in Midtown

    South Main Baptist Church has won a 2020 Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for restoring its historic sanctuary (1930) in Midtown

    Photo: Hester + Hardaway, Photographer

Photo: Hester + Hardaway, Photographer

South Main Baptist Church has won a 2020 Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for restoring its historic sanctuary (1930) in Midtown

South Main Baptist Church has won a 2020 Good Brick Award from Preservation Houston for restoring its historic sanctuary (1930) in Midtown

Photo: Hester + Hardaway, Photographer

There’s something ethereal about visiting the sacred spaces and places of worship dotted across Houston’s vast landscape. Whether it’s a church, mosque, cathedral or temple, the sheer scale of the spaces and the stunning architecture inspire a sense of awe and reverence.

From Orthodox Temples to historic chapels, we’ve taken a glimpse inside eight sacred spaces that elevate the “spiritual experience” for Houston’s faithful.

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Christ Church Cathedral was founded in 1839, serving people of all religions to deepen a sense of community for the growing town of Houston. The church still uses the historic building that was first built 170 years ago and features a stunning cathedral for the diocese of the city.

Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, a historic jewel in the center of Freedmen’s Town is now in present-day Fourth Ward. According to the congregation’s historic milestones, the church was organized in 1866 and is the oldest African-American church in the city. Members of Antioch still pray and worship in the sanctuary’s original handmade pews.

In the heart of Houston’s Museum District, visitors find St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.  This historic church was designed by the same architect who created the San Jacinto Monument.  According to its historic milestones, the church held its groundbreaking in April 1929 just before the devastating market crash.  It persevered as a flourishing community church throughout the depression and is still thriving today.

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Touted as a “must-see” church, the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is located in downtown Houston.  The stunning new cathedral was built in 2008.  Three new mosaics were designed and made in Italy for the newly-constructed cathedral. Its original cathedral was constructed in 1897.

Considered a significant work of modern art, the Rothko Chapel was founded by John and Dominique de Menil in 1964.  The Chapel is currently under restoration and will reopen in June 2020.  It not only serves as a revered place for meditation and prayer—but also a space that holds a stunning art installation by Mark Rothko.  Featured on the walls of the chapel are 14 black-hued paintings by Mark Rothko.

Take some time to view some the architectural beauty of some of Houston’s most awe-inspiring spaces. Each Houston cathedral, synagogue, and mosque has its unique story to tell.

alison.medley@chron.com

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