DFW’s Most Interesting Churches

July 28, 2014 6:00 AM

(credit: JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Dallas has some of the most beautiful and historic churches in the southwest. From English castle-like to mega-sized churches, a variety of faiths in every neighborhood have a distinctive architectural concept. Here are a few of Dallas’s must-visit houses of worship.

Grace United Methodist Church
4105 Junius St.
Dallas, TX 75246
(214) 824-2533
www.graceumcdallas.orgA marriage took place in 1902 of Floyd Street Methodist Church and Haskell Avenue Methodist Church. In 1903, that union produced Grace United Methodist Church. A registered Dallas Landmark, Grace United Methodist Church is comprised of a widely diverse congregation of Caucasians, Africans, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, middle class, wealthy, poor and refugees from newborns to centenarians. The church community has approximately 300 members. The beauty is not just limited to the colorful mix of people. The stained-glass art in the sanctuary is breathtaking. Rich hues and ornate blends in the stained-glass panels that are imbedded as windows tell a loving story of Jesus Christ and his teachings and is a must see for any lover of art, stained-glass or Biblical teaching.

Cathedral of Hope
5910 Cedar Springs Road
Dallas, TX 75235
(214) 351-1901
www.cathedralofhope.comInternationally known as the “world’s largest gay church,” the Cathedral of Hope was voted in as a member of the United Church of Christ in 2006. It didn’t start out with its current membership of 4,000 members. Cathedral of Hope started in 1970 as Metropolitan Community Church with a membership of 12. Within six years, the membership grew to 400. The church grew out of several spaces and reached 600 members in 1990. A modern house of worship was opened in 1992 that served almost 1,000 members and in less than one year, an additional 300 members joined that reflected the growing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. In 1995, renowned architect Phillip Johnson was commissioned to design a new 22,000-square-foot campus and the membership continues to grow. By 2002, national membership reaches 4,000 and in 2005, Johnson designed another building called the Interfaith Peace Chapel. The cathedral and the chapel are architectural masterpieces of modern design.

The Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady the Virgin of Guadalupe
2215 Ross Ave.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 871-1362
www.cathedralguadalupe.orgDallas’ first Catholic parish was started in 1869 as Sacred Heart Church at the corner of Bryan and Ervay Streets. When Dallas was established as a diocese in 1890, Sacred Heart Church’s membership blossomed to the point of needing a larger space. Property at Ross and Pearl Streets was purchased and Nicholas J. Clayton was the registered architect. The cornerstone was laid in 1898 and the church was dedicated in 1902 as the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart. As Dallas and its surrounding suburbs grew in the 1960s, more parishes were started, and as a result, the Sacred Heart saw a decline in membership. A neighboring parish, Our Lady of Guadalupe that served the Mexican community since 1914, had outgrown its space. Our Lady of Guadalupe merged with Sacred Heart and in 1977, the church was renamed the Cathedral Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The church serves as the largest cathedral membership in the United States as the mother cathedral to 630,000 Roman Catholics in the Dallas area and over 25,000 registered Latinos. It is the anchor cathedral to the downtown business district in Dallas and sits in the center of the Dallas Arts District. It is a piece of Dallas history that must be seen.

Related: Best Meditation Centers In The DFW Area

St. James Episcopal Church
9845 McCree Road
Dallas, TX 75238
(214) 348-1345
www.stjamesdallas.orgSt. James Episcopal Church was started in the mid 1950s. As with many neighborhoods, Lake Highlands started growing and the church along with it. In 1996, St. James commissioned architect Arthur Weinman and organ builder Dan Garland, both of Ft. Worth, to create an English parish. The building looks like a castle from the outside and on the inside are strong visual notes that pull the eye upward, leading one to have a relaxed and uplifting feeling. The church can accommodate approximately 200 people and has the potential to be expanded to an additional 150 seats. Rob Foster created the modern stained-glass windows that tell the story of Christ. The bell tower is of particular interest. It plays ring patterns of notes instead of songs. This is a warm and inviting modern church that has a traditional feel.

First Baptist Dallas
1707 San Jacinto
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 969-0111
www.firstdallas.orgFirst Baptist Dallas is an ultra-modern church that seats 3,000. The Beck Group designed the 500,000-square-foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “Green” building in the heart of downtown that is comprised of six square blocks. The church was founded in 1868 and through its immense growth, a $130 million project was undertaken in 2009 to build a church for the 21st century. A 150-foot-wide viewing screen that stretches almost two-thirds across the room, consisting of seven large high-definition projectors, is positioned above the choir.

Related: Historic Walking Tours of DFW

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com