Archive for the ‘Churches of the World’ Category

St. Jerome’s

March 27th, 2017 Comments off

Built on a grand scale to serve a growing congregation, the polygonal sanctuary at St. Jerome Catholic Church features original terrazzo floors, gold mosaic tiles, and a soaring folded-plate roofline. The round building creates a strong visual sense of inclusiveness and community, important design considerations following the Catholic Church reform efforts of Vatican II (1962-1965).  Westchester, California

Saint Jerome was a brilliant scripture scholar and translator of the bible. He was a consultant to popes, bishops and monks. None before or after him were so well qualified or gifted to achieve the monumental task of translating into Latin all the Hebrew books of the bible.

Thanks to St Jerome and his translations of scripture, we can appreciate the authentic, inspired words that God wants us to hear and know.

The word of God is a living word; it is effective; it penetrates into one’s whole being; it unites; it binds our heart, mind and soul to the living God. It is able to renew and reinvigorate us with God’s life and Holy Spirit.

St. Basil’s Cathedral

September 4th, 2016 Comments off


The St. Basil’s Cathedral erected 1555 in the Red Square.  Moscow,  Russia.


The building’s design, shaped as a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky is like no other Russian building.

It marks the geometric center of the city and the hub of its growth since the 14th century. It was the tallest building of Moscow until 1600.

The Cathedral has operated as a division of the State Historical Museum since 1928.

It was completely secularized in 1929, a fact that no doubt would break the heart of Basil,  ‘Fool for Christ’,  the Russian Orthodox Saint for whom it was named.

As of 2009, it remains a federal property of the Russian Federation.


Santa Maria delle Grazie

August 2nd, 2016 1 comment


Have you been to this world famous site? I haven’t, but would like to.



Santa Maria delle Grazie (“Our Lady of Grace”) is a  beautiful church and Dominican convent in Milan, Italy.


The main architect was Guiniforte Solari, the convent was completed by 1469 while the church took more time.

During World War II, the night of 15 August 1943, bombs dropped by British and American planes hit the church and the convent. Much of the refectory was destroyed, but some walls survived, including the one that holds The Last Supper, which had been sand-bagged for protection.

[Just think how close we came to destroying this work of art.  So many  beautiful lives, so many amazing works of man , so many historical treasures, have been lost in war going back to the earliest generations of man.  When will we ever learn?]

The Last Supper, by Leonardo daVinci measures  (15 feet × 29 ft) and covers the back wall of the dining hall at the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie . Wikipedia

St.Patrick’s Cathedral, Armagh, Northern Ireland

March 17th, 2016 Comments off

The origins of the cathedral are related to the construction in 445 of stone church on the Druim Saileach (Sallow Ridge) hill by St. Patrick around which a monastic community developed. The Church was and is the centre of the Church of Ireland.

From the fifth century of the Christian era, the hill acquired a new significance with the arrival in Armagh of St Patrick. Patrick, as a boy, had spent some years as a slave in Ireland. He managed to escape and return to his family in Britain. After a time, Patrick claimed to have had a vision in which a man called Victoricus implored him to return to Ireland. Accordingly, he prepared himself for ordination and eventually, as a bishop, began his ministry in Ireland in, according to tradition, 432.

In his travels throughout the country, Patrick eventually reached Armagh where, following some hard negotiating with a local Chieftain, Daire, he was given his desired site on the hill of Armagh. In what is believed to be the year 445, he built his church. Whether or not the building was of stone, as the Irish name Damhliag Mor implies, is uncertain but there certainly was a great stone church at Armagh in the ninth century according to the Annals of Ireland. It is on this same site that today’s Cathedral stands and it was Patrick who decreed that the Great Church at Armagh should be the premier church in Ireland.

The Church itself has been destroyed and rebuilt 17 times. It was substantially restored between 1834 and 1840.

Today the Church of Ireland is, after the Roman Catholic Church, the second-largest denomination in the island of Ireland and the largest Protestant tradition (the second-largest in Northern Ireland after Presbyterianism).

source: StPatricks Cathedral website

Abyssinian Baptist Church of Harlem

February 7th, 2016 Comments off

The church traces its roots to 1808, when visiting free Ethiopian seamen and allied African American parishioners left the First Baptist Church in the City of New York in protest over being restricted to racially segregated seating.

They named their new congregation the Abyssinian Baptist Church after the historic name of Ethiopia.

Through the years, Abyssinian Baptist Church moved north on the island of Manhattan, as Harlem became a center of African-American population.

In 1908, Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. became pastor of the church. In 1920, the church purchased property in Harlem for a new Gothic and Tudor style church featuring stained glass windows and marble furnishings . The congregation’s tithing and offerings covered the expenses, and in 1923 the church moved to its current location on West 138th Street in Harlem.

By the time Powell handed the reins of the church to his son Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in 1937, the Abyssinian Baptist Church was the largest Protestant congregation in the United States, with more than 4,000 members.

wikipedia: photo and text

Harajuku: Japanese Futuristic Church

August 30th, 2015 Comments off


Harajuku: Japanese Futuristic Church

This futuristic Protestant church is located in  Tokyo , and it was first unveiled by the design firm of Ciel Rouge Creation in 2005. The ceiling is specially made to reverberate natural sound for 2 seconds to provide a unique listening experience for worshipers and tourists.

Source: Wikipedia

St. Louis Cathedral New Orleans

August 9th, 2015 Comments off


The Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France, also called St. Louis Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New Orleans; it has the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating cathedral in the  United States. 

Saint Louis Cathedral is in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana,  It is located next to Jackson Square and facing the Mississippi River in the heart of New Orleans, situated between the historic buildings of the Cabildo and the Presbytère. It is one of the few Roman Catholic churches in the United States that fronts a major public square.

A note  from the Simpkins about their recent experience at this beautiful cathedral.

Judy Simp. NO

This is St Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. Jerry and I stopped in to see it and light candles, 0) What a great surprise and treat….the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra was rehearsing in the church. So we sat and listened for a while… Delightful!

Old Brick Church (Fairfield County, South Carolina)

July 26th, 2015 Comments off

In the 1770s, Presbyterian settlers from Scotland and Ireland built a log church. This was replaced by a brick church on the Little River in 1788.

This church is a simple, rectangular, brick building with a gabled roof. The bricks were handmade by members of the congregation. The church has straight-back, wooden pews.

There is a dais pulpit against the east wall that is three steps above floor level. The dais has a bible stand and has rails on the two sides.

On the west end, there is a slave gallery. In 1852, a stone wall was built around the church and cemetery.

The church grew in the period before the Civil War. During the war, Union Army soldiers used part of the floor to reconstruct a bridge over the Little River.

There is a pencilled apology on an interior wall that was left by soldier “Citizens of this community: Please excuse us for defacing your house of worship, so much. It was absolutely necessary to effect a crossing over the creek, the Rebs had destroyed the bridge. A Yankee

wikipedia commons photo and text

Hillsong Church: Sydney, Australia

July 19th, 2015 Comments off

Hillsong Church is a Pentecostalmegachurch located in Sydney, Australia. It began in 1983. Over 20,000 people attend services each week.

Apart from the four main campuses, Hillsong Church currently has 15 extension services across Sydney.

These extension services are based on either location or culture and rely on Hillsong Church for support and leadership.

Hillsong Church’s international offshoots include London, Kiev ,  Cape Town, and  Stockholm. Hillsong services are also held in Paris, Berlin and Moscow. In 2010, Hillsong will launch its first church in the United States, Hillsong Church New York.

Hillsong Music has topped Australian charts, with albums achieving gold and platinum sales status.

Hillsong is known internationally through its teaching, album sales, and the annual Hillsong Conference, which attracts over 28,000 people.

The Hillsong Television program is seen in over 160 countries and Hillsong International Leadership Conference is attended by over 900 students.

source: edited wikipedia commons

Oldest Church Building in Arkansas – 1856 – Smyrna Methodist Church

January 25th, 2015 Comments off

Circa 1854 Vernacular Greek Revival Church
Listed in National Register of Historic Places on 7/20/1992

Known as the oldest church building in Arkansas, Smyrna Methodist Church was founded in 1856.

When the building was lifted several feet for substructure restoration, a white oak stump was discovered beneath the structure, in a relatively well preserved state. Core samples were taken from various sills, posts, studs, rafters, and joists of the building. After experts, called dendrochronologists, from the U of A Tree Ring Laboratory in Fayetteville, studied the samples taken from the building and the tree stump, it was determined that lumber used in building the church did indeed come from the white oak stump, as well as several other trees from the immediate area. Some of the logs that were used in the construction of the church started growing as trees between 1614 and 1638. The oldest log in the church was 242 years old when it was cut down back in 1856.

In 1997, Methodist Church Officials donated the building to the City of Searcy, with the understanding the city, White County Historical Society, and Searcy Arts Council would work together towards restoration of the structure. This is being done by the Smyrna Church Preservation Committee, through donations from private parties and grants, along with volunteers, and other interested parties. Outside restoration has been completed, while work on the inside of the church continues.

Smyrna Church is available to rent for weddings and events. Call 279-1010 for more information.

Hwy 36 & Jaybird Lane
East of Center Hill, Arkansas
Phone: (501) 279-1010

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