Unique American Churches

  1. The Old Ship Church,
  2. or Old Ship Meetinghouse, built in 1681. Located in Hingham, MA. Oldest, continually used (for religious purposes) church in the United States. Denomination: Unitarian Universalist. http://www.oldshipchurch.org/
  3. San Miguel Chapel,
  4. or San Miguel Mission, built c. 1610-1626. Located in Santa Fe, NM. Various repairs and additions have occurred since the 18th century. Adobe structure built by the Tlaxcalan Indians. http://www.evanderputten.org/special/newmexico/sanmiguel.htm
  5. The Loretto Chapel,
  6. completed in 1878. Located in Sante Fe, NM. Famous for the Loretto Staircase. http://www.lorettochapel.com/index.html
  7. Christ Church, Alexandria VA
  8. completed in 1773. Denomination: Episcopal. George Washington and Robert E. Lee were regular worshippers. http://www.historicchristchurch.org
  9. Christ Church, Philadelphia PA
  10. founded in 1695. First parish of the Anglican church in PA. Ordained first black Episcopal priest, Absolam Jones, in 1804. Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, George Washington and John Adams all attended. Denomination: Episcopal. http://www.christchurchphila.org/
  11. Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  12. located in Milledgeville, GA. Flannery O'Connor regularly attended Mass at this church.
  13. Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  14. Founded in 1817. Located in Lancaster, PA. http://www.bethelamelancaster.org/
  15. Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church
  16. founded in 1794, located in Philadelphia, PA. The oldest continuously owned property by African-Americans. http://www.motherbethel.org/
  17. Washington National Cathedral,
  18. or Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul. Construction began in 1903 during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and was completed in 1990 during the presidency of George H.W. Bush. Located in Washington D.C. Denomination: Episcopal. The state funerals of Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford occurred here. Wilson is entombed in the cathedral and is the only president buried in Washington D.C. http://www.nationalcathedral.org/
  19. The Seamen's Bethel,
  20. built in 1831-1832. Located in New Bedford, MA. The inspiration for Father Mapple's "Whaleman's Chapel" in Moby-Dick. Plaques adorning the walls pay tribute to whalemen lost at sea. Upstairs is the seat where Melville himself was said to sit. The pulpit in the shape of a rising boat's prow was added in the 1950s following interest in John Huston's movie adaption of Melville's novel. Non-denominational. http://www.rixsan.com/nbvisit/attract/bethel1.htm
  21. First Presbyterian Church,
  22. aka The Lincoln Family Church. Located in Springfield, IL. http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/sites/pew.htm
  23. Jamestown Church,
  24. located in Jamestown, VA. One of the oldest surviving structures from the original 13 colonies. At least five separate churches were constructed and destroyed on the sight. The first, described by John Smith was burned in 1608. The 2nd church was the site of the marriage between Pocahontas and John Rolfe. The brick tower from the fifth church (c. 1639) remains in a ruined state and is attached to the current church which was constructed in 1906. Inside are original foundations from the 17th century. http://www.preservationvirginia.org/tour/chtour.html?process=0
  25. St. Luke's Church,
  26. aka Old Brick Church. Located in Smithfield, VA. Built c. 1632. The oldest existing church of English foundation in America and the nation's only surviving Gothic building. America's oldest organ (purchased in 1630) resides at the church. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Patrick Henry are said to have stopped at the church traveling to or from Williamsburg during the Revolutionary period. http://www.historicstlukes.org/
  27. Christ Church, Irvington VA
  28. First structure completed in 1670. Highly detailed, molded-brick church completed in 1735. The official Anglican church in colonial VA. "Christ Church is the best preserved of colonial Virginia's Anglican parish churches. It is the only church from colonial Virginia to retain its original high-backed box pews, and it is one of only two with its original triple-decker pulpit." http://www.christchurch1735.org/
  29. Christ Church, Boston MA
  30. aka The Old North Church. Built in 1723. The oldest standing church building in Boston. Famous for being where, on April 18, 1775, church sexton Robert Newman hung two lanterns at the steeple as a signal for Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord. Active Episcopal congregation. Box pews. http://www.oldnorth.com/history/index.htm
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A slow work in progress. Soon to contain much more info and be organized by state.