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Religious Sites Walking Tour (Self Guided), Dallas

Dallas is one of the biggest cities in the world and one that is rich in religious congregations. Every place of worship in Dallas is worth visiting, yet the downtown concentrates are especially memorable. Cathedrals, churches, and chapels are all here for your enjoyment.
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Religious Sites Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Religious Sites Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Dallas (See other walking tours in Dallas)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Author: sylvia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • St. Paul United Methodist Church
  • The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
  • First United Methodist Church of Dallas
  • First Baptist Church of Dallas
  • First Presbyterian Church-Dallas
1
St. Paul United Methodist Church

1) St. Paul United Methodist Church

St. Paul United Methodist Church is a true gem of the Art District in Dallas, Texas. It was organized by freed slaves in the year 1873. As such, it is one of the oldest African American churches in all of Texas. It is also the only such church in downtown Dallas.

From 1874-1875, the church also served as a school for African American children. The current church building was designed by Sidney Pitman, Dallas’ first African American architect, and it was completed by 1922. The building’s patchwork of colored bricks is still visible. There are thirty-five beautiful stained glass windows, which are all original and were donated by some of Dallas’ first affluent African Americans.

St. Paul was designated as an historic landmark by City of Dallas in 1982. In 2013, the church was approved as Texas Historical Landmark. In 2016, St. Paul was named to the national registry of historic sites. There was a recent effort to renovate this old church, which now is finished. It was quite the undertaking, as walls had to be stabilized and restored. An elevator was also added to the church for the handicapped and elderly. The church can be visited most any day of the week, but they also have worship service on Sundays at 10:45 a.m.
2
The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

2) The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

The Cathedral Shrine is one of the largest churches in Dallas, with over 17,000 families. It is also one of the most historic churches in town, as this was the first Catholic community formed in the area. It is also the Mother Church for the local diocese.

The local worshiping community was founded in 1869. It was called the Sacred Heart Church then. They built their first building in 1872. In 1890, the church was reformed into the Cathedral for the area, after the Dallas area became a diocese. The overall architectural look of the current building is gothic, and is done in a beautiful red brick. The sanctuary is done in white walls and is trimmed in oak.

This congregation is also a great promoter of the arts in the area. They hold events for the Arts District many times each year. They also sponsor the Greater Children’s Chorus of Dallas, which is a sacred choir. It is located in the same area is the Sculpture Garden, Dallas Symphony, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
3
First United Methodist Church of Dallas

3) First United Methodist Church of Dallas

The First United Methodist Church is situated in a very old part of the downtown section; in fact, it has been part of that overall landscape since the 1840s, when Dallas was just a village where Methodist preachers would stop for worship while riding the circuit. The congregation used to met at three previous locations before the Trinity Methodist and First Methodist congregations eventually combined in 1916, remaining relevant and inviting ever since.

The current church at Ross and Harwood opened its doors in 1926. Done in a Gothic style of architecture, it has been added to and renovated numerous times, but most recently in 2013, when the structure saw a massive 16,000-sq-ft renovation and a 12,800-sq-ft addition connected by a sky bridge. The renovation features a two-story glass entry (referred to as "Portals of Inspiration") and a multipurpose room (referred to as "Crossroads Center"), which functions as the primary hospitality area.

Curiously enough, the new addition encloses the existing structure built in the 1920s, making the aged exterior the new space's interior. Exposing aged brick and original stained glass presented a unique challenge, but you are now free to convince yourself of the results. The church is open pretty much any day of the week, with worship services held Sundays.

Opening Hours:
Sun: 8am–5pm (worship: 8:45am/11am); Mon-Fri: 8:30am–5pm
4
First Baptist Church of Dallas

4) First Baptist Church of Dallas

The First Baptist Church of Dallas is a very well known house of worship in Dallas. In modern terms, it is a mega church, which means it has a large number of members. As a part of the Southern Baptist Convention, it has about 13,000 members in 2018.

The church was founded in 1872. The current building was completed in 1891, and has been a prominent part of the downtown landscape for years. The church is done in a Gothic style of architecture, and covers over six city blocks in the downtown area. There are seven major buildings in the overall complex.

In the current day setting, the church not only ministers to its thirteen thousand members, but also runs a small college, a school, and several radio stations throughout Texas. The local congregation is also known for its mission work in the downtown Dallas.
5
First Presbyterian Church-Dallas

5) First Presbyterian Church-Dallas

The First Presbyterian Church is a historic church in Dallas. It is located in the Farmers Market District of the city, on Park Avenue. It was the first congregation of Presbyterians founded here.

The congregation was founded in 1856. The first pastor was the Reverend Robert Byers. It had a total of eleven members back then. In the beginning, the group met wherever they could. Through the years, the church has had a total of four buildings, as the congregation continued to grow.

The current building is located in the Harwood Historic District, and is considered to be the local landmark. It was finished in 1913. The church is done in a Greek Revival style, which makes it distinct from other churches in the Historic District. You will want to check out the Corinthian style columns on the front. They are monolithic, and were the first such style used in Dallas. Each column was shipped to Dallas on a separate flatcar from Indiana.

The exterior walls contain the original pictorial windows of "art glass." These were prepared by the Kansas City Stained Glass Works Company and shipped to Dallas in 1912. The interior design is a modified Akron Plan. The Akron plan was developed by Akron, Ohio architects (1900–1920) to promote efficiency of movement by congregants between worship and Sunday School. This plan is characterized by a semicircular amphitheater with curved seating, opening to classrooms immediately adjacent to the Sanctuary.
Sight description based on wikipedia

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