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Christian Tours USA: Historic Churches

Explore the rich Christian heritage of the United States by visiting these awe-inspiring and historic churches.

By John LimboPublished 3 years ago 6 min read
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Christianity has remained in the United States considering that its beginnings. In fact, it was the greatest impact on the founding fathers as they worked to shape the federal government of the young nation. Christianity has an abundant heritage in this nation and there are various sites you can go to which point to this faith.

If you wish to make a spiritual journey and pilgrimage, there's no need to go to Europe or the Holy Land. Spiritual sites of interest are spread around the country that tells visitors and pilgrims parts of the deep Christian heritage that formed the nation. From churches, museums, and even theme parks, there are numerous locations to visit if you want to find out the history of the faith in the United States and deepen your spirituality while doing so.

Christianity in the United States is best represented by the many historic churches of numerous Christian denominations scattered throughout the country. Much of them are centuries old and are enduring witnesses to the nation's political and spiritual history. These places of worship can be some of the very best parts of your Christian heritage tour in the USA.

Here are some of the country's historic churches.

Trinity Church of New York (Episcopal)

Located at the center of Lower Manhattan's Financial District, in the crossway of Wall Street and Broadway, Trinity Church is maybe one of New York City's most famous landmarks. Nestled amongst tall modern high-rise buildings, the church sticks out as it exhibits the very best of Gothic revival architecture. It traces back its history to the very first Trinity Church built on its site in 1698 and was damaged by the Great New York Fire of 1776. A 2nd building was constructed in this place and was significant to George Washington and the members of his government as they often went to services here. The current building is the 3rd one to be constructed in 1839 and finished in 1846 to accommodate the growing churchgoers as the population of New York grows and likewise to replace the 2nd church damaged by severe weather conditions. Upon its building until 1869, it held the record of being the highest structure in the United States of America, and till 1890 it was the tallest building in the city of New York. Because of its charm, history, and area, it has actually become a popular stop for many New York group tours.

African Meeting House/ The First African Baptist Church (Baptist)

If you take place to have a Boston group tour, the African Meeting House is a fantastic destination to be included in your schedule. It is the oldest standing African American church building still being consumed to the present. It was built in 1805 for the use of the Bostonian African American neighborhood, Though they were currently allowed to go to white churches at that time, a lot of them still deal with discrimination and partition. For this reason, Thomas Paul, an African-American preacher from New Hampshire, together with 20 of his fans developed the First African American Baptist Church on August 20, 1805, and in the same year purchased land for their church building. The church was finished the next year. The African Meeting House likewise played a terrific role during the abolitionist movements and the American Civil War. Frederick Douglass and others utilized the building to recruit soldiers of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Regiments during the Civil War.

Old North Church (Episcopal)

The Old North Church of the City of Boston in 193 Salem Street is perhaps the most popular church structure in the city. It rose to popularity because of the role it played throughout the American Revolution. Paul Revere and his buddies hang signal lanterns in the church steeple to notify the militia throughout the river about the movement of the British troops. Every American school kid knows the meaning of 'One if, by land, 2 if by the sea'. The church, integrated in 1723, is likewise regarded as the earliest existing church in Boston. Because of the fantastic function the church played in American history, the Old North Church is one of the 4 churches that belongs to the 16 stops of the Freedom Trail, a significant path that runs through Boston's historical landmarks and is an essential part of any Boston group tours.

San Miguel Mission (Roman Catholic)

San Miguel Mission Church situated in Santa Fe, New Mexico is the oldest Christian church in the continental United States. Its composed history just begins with 1628, but oral traditions can trace back the origins of the San Miguel Mission church back to the first chapel built on its site in 1610. It is stated to have been constructed by the Tlaxcalan Indians who moved from old Mexico to New Mexico in 1598. Throughout its 400-year old history, the chapel has actually been restored and fixed numerous times. The original structure used to have a triple-tier belfry but a storm destroyed two of its leading layers in the 19th century. Currently, the church is still partly functional and Catholic masses are still being held inside it.

Bethel Baptist Church (Baptist)

Not just a Christian history location, however the Bethel Baptist Church in Alabama is likewise a must-visit for any Birmingham African American heritage trip. The church played a significant role in the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s. It served as a head office for the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, an organization that focused on legal and nonviolent actions against partition and discrimination in transport, accommodations, schools, and the workplace. The church was built in 1926 and is an architecturally unique mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles. During the Civil Rights protests of the late 50s and early 60s, the church was bombed on three separate events. Because of its function in the Civil Rights Movement, the Bethel Baptist Church of Birmingham was designated as a National Historic Landmark of the United States, and is presently part of the list for Tentative UNESCO World Heritage Sites, waiting for verification of its main inclusion to the prestigious list of cultural and archaeological sites of international value.

The National Cathedral in Washington DC

National Cathedral (Episcopal)

The National Cathedral of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington DC is the crossroad of secular and religious life in the country's capital. The cathedral is notable for its Neo-Gothic design carefully modeled on the English Gothic style of the late fourteenth century. It is also recognized as the third-largest church building in the United States and is the 4th tallest structure in Washington DC. Its facade is in some way similar to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Some of its significant interior functions are the pulpit carved from stones of the Canterbury Cathedral, the high altar called the Jerusalem Altar made from stones from Solomon's Quarry in Israel, the flooring straight in front of the altar made from stones from the Chapel of Moses in Mt. Sinai, a stained-glass window illustrating the Moon landing of Apollo 11 with a real moonstone set in the center, the state seals embedded in marble at the narthex, and all the state flags hanging from the ceiling. Statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were likewise placed inside the cathedral. The National Cathedral is among the centerpieces of faith tours in the Capitol.

National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basilica (Roman Catholic)

The National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Basilica is the largest Catholic church in North America and one of the top 10 biggest churches on the planet. The church is so large that it took nearly a century to complete building and construction. Building the basilica began in 1920 but was just finished in 2017. The church serves the neighboring Catholic University of American and is the seat of the United States Catholic Bishops' Conference. The basilica is likewise designated as a National Sanctuary of Prayer and Pilgrimage. It happily holds the largest collection of modern ecclesiastical art in the world. The National Shrine is open 365 days a year and features day-to-day guided trips, a Catholic Gift Shop, a Catholic Book Store, and a snack bar.

There are a lot more awe-inspiring churches in the United States that bring us closer to our history and spirituality. The strong foundation of Christian history in the United States is embodied by these excellent places of worship. Exploring their hallowed halls and attending services in them, and making them part of your USA Christian faith trips, will surely enrich your minds and spirits.

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