Famous Downtown Churches in Austin (Self Guided), Austin

Downtown Austin contains many places of worship. Numerous communities from all over the world are responsible for the variety of Austin’s beautiful churches and cathedrals. These magnificent edifices are notable for their wonderful architecture and rich history.
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Famous Downtown Churches in Austin Map

Guide Name: Famous Downtown Churches in Austin
Guide Location: USA » Austin (See other walking tours in Austin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Author: christine
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Ebenezer Baptist Church
  • Saint Elias Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Saint David's Episcopal Church
  • Central Presbyterian Church
  • Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin
  • First United Methodist Church
  • Central Christian Church
  • Gethsemane Lutheran Church
  • University Christian Church
  • University Baptist Church
  • University United Methodist Church
  • All Saints' Episcopal Church
1
Ebenezer Baptist Church

1) Ebenezer Baptist Church

Ebenezer Baptist Church was established in 1875 in a small space located next door to its present location. When the congregation outgrew the initial church, a new church was established in 1885, named Ebenezer, meaning “stone of help.” The church has an outstanding musical heritage, being the first black choir featured on Texas commercial radio in 1938.
2
Saint Elias Eastern Orthodox Church

2) Saint Elias Eastern Orthodox Church

Saint Elias Eastern Orthodox Church is the first and only Eastern Orthodox church in downtown Austin. Construction began in 1932 by the Lebanese community. It's architect, John Kassouf, designed the edifice after the Eastern Orthodox churches in Israel. It was raised during the Great Depression, the project sustained by the sales of Lebanese food to the community.
3
Saint David's Episcopal Church

3) Saint David's Episcopal Church

St. David's Episcopal Church is a historic church in downtown Austin, Texas. Its main church building was constructed in 1854-1855, making it one of the oldest standing buildings in the city.

The first Episcopal church in Austin was briefly organized in 1848, nine years after Austin was founded. In 1851 the parish was reorganized, and work on the church building began two years later.

The church is located at 304 E. 7th Street. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
Central Presbyterian Church

4) Central Presbyterian Church

Central Presbyterian Church was established in the early 19th century, suffering numerous times from damage due to the war with Mexico and a major tornado strike. It was permanently founded in its present location in 1850. During the Civil War, the Presbyterians were split between North and South, not becoming united again until 1983.
5
Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin

5) Cathedral of Saint Mary in Austin (must see)

Saint Mary's Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, located in Austin.

The origins of this church date back to the 1850s, when the Catholic community in Austin built a small stone church named St. Patrick's on the corner of 9th and Brazos streets. In 1866 the church was renamed Saint Mary's, and the parish decided they needed a new church and could afford masonry construction. In 1872, after Austin was made the permanent capital of the state, the parish laid the cornerstone for a new church, choosing a location one block north of the original building.

The parish had laid out a basilica-shaped foundation and begun raising the walls, which were 5 feet (1.5 m) high when the architect Nicholas J. Clayton began to design their new church.

When the new Diocese of Austin was formed in 1948, this became the cathedral of the newly formed diocese. At that time, the church was remodeled, many of its neo-Gothic decorations were removed, the neo-Gothic altars and altar rail were replaced with 20th century marble and the baldachino with its cactus and bluebonnets, evocative of central Texas.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
First United Methodist Church

6) First United Methodist Church

The First United Methodist Church was established in the late 19th century. The congregation outgrew its previous location and was relocated to Lavaca Street, near the State Capitol. The new church was erected in 1923 in the Roman style, matching the State Capitol and other nearby buildings.
7
Central Christian Church

7) Central Christian Church

Central Christian Church is a major church in downtown Austin. It is one of the oldest congregations in the city. The church has also been known as Christian Church of Austin. The current church building, feauring Romanesque architecture, was completed in 1929. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

In 1847 ten members of the Disciples of Christ Brotherhood met to organize this congregation. Although early records of the church are scarce, it is known that regular worship services were being held in a local school building by 1852. The Christian Church of Austin acquired its first property at Eighth and Colorado Streets and worshiped at that site until moving to current location in 1929. An early dispute over theological and procedural matters split the congregation in 1888. The fellowship adopted its current name during the early years of the twentieth century, after other Disciples of Christ congregations had been organized in Austin. Although much growth has occurred in the outlying sections of the city, Central Christian Church has remained a vital force in the downtown area. Its ministry has included the establishment of several other congregations.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Gethsemane Lutheran Church

8) Gethsemane Lutheran Church

Gethsemane Lutheran Church is a historic church at 1510 Congress Avenue in Downtown Austin, Texas. It was built in 1882 and added to the National Register in 1970.

It houses offices of the Texas Historical Commission. Gethsemane Lutheran Church was restored to serve as offices of the agency in 1970 and 1971. Recently, Gethsemane Lutheran Church has appointed Olson Kundig Architects to design $20-million redevelopment of its Social Services and Housing Project in Seattle, Washington.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
University Christian Church

9) University Christian Church

University Christian Church began its construction in 1953 on the site of a residence for student GIs. In 1961 an education building was added, offering classes in religious studies. Classes are still available today, though no longer as part of the university’s curriculum. Renovations were made in 1991, though the original character was preserved, including the church’s beautiful stained glass window.
10
University Baptist Church

10) University Baptist Church

University Baptist Church in Austin was organized in 1907–1908 to serve students at the University of Texas. Originally leasing space from the Highland Presbyterian Church, the church was officially chartered on September 27, 1908, with 80 original members.

In 1914, the church absorbed members of the then-defunct Central Baptist Church, soon growing to almost 500 members. In 1916 the church purchased land at the southwest corner of 22nd Street and Guadalupe Street to construct a church building. Philadelphia architect Albert Kelsey designed the structure in the Spanish Colonial Revival style to match the University of Texas buildings across the street. It was built to house 1,100 people and was an immediate cornerstone of the "Drag".

In recent years the church has become known for its welcoming stance toward homosexuals and has joined several like-minded church organizations. It is affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists, the American Baptist Churches USA, the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, and the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America.

It features a carved stone facade facing Guadalupe Street and cathedral ceiling vaults with an excellent acoustical signature, and has hosted performances by Willie Nelson and Larry Gatlin. A student union building was added to the west in 1949, featuring a Charles Umlauf sculpture relief over the front door.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
11
University United Methodist Church

11) University United Methodist Church

University United Methodist Church is a United Methodist Church belonging to the Southwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Located at the corner of 24th Street and Guadalupe Street, UUMC has been a fixture near the University of Texas at Austin campus for more than 120 years.

University United Methodist Church began its life in 1887 under the name Austin City Mission. The congregation met in a tiny building called Honey Chapel, which was located one block east of the present location of the church. The first pastor was Rev. John E. Stovall, who served as pastor for one year.

The name of the church changed in 1968, when the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined with The Methodist Church to form The United Methodist Church. At that time, the official name of the church became University United Methodist Church.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
All Saints' Episcopal Church

12) All Saints' Episcopal Church

All Saints’ Episcopal Church is an utterly beautiful and peaceful little church located near the University of Texas campus. Built in 1899 in the Romanesque style, it was originally a small chapel for the Young Ladies' Church Institute. It adopted the name All Saints' Episcopal Church in 1929 and maintains a strong bond with the university. The church has remained practically unchanged and has kept its charm for over a century.

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