Houston is a city full of culture and history, and its churches are no exception. You can find everything from grand cathedrals to quaint chapels in Houston. Whether you’re searching for a place to worship or want to explore the beauty of some Houston churches, here are 16 famous and historic places of worship that should be visited.
St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
5501 Main St, Houston, TX 77004 – (713) 526-3420
The oldest church in Houston is St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. It was founded in 1839 and is located in downtown Houston.
Located near downtown, St. Paul’s has been a part of the community for nearly two centuries and continues to serve its members with a meaningful worship experience today.
Founded in 1839 by Reverend William Boggess, it was initially located on Franklin Street before being moved to its current site on Clay Street in 1895. The church is a homage to traditional Gothic Revival architecture with its signature steep roofline, intricate stone carvings, and pointed arches adorning the façade. Visitors will find beautifully carved wood paneling, stained glass windows depicting Bible scenes, and red brick walls that provide warmth while maintaining the visual integrity of the original design. Notable features include a grand pipe organ built by noted German craftsmen Wilhelm Sauer and Sons and an ornate spiral staircase leading up to the bell tower.
St. Anne Catholic Church
2140 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77098; (713) 526-3276
St. Anne Catholic Church is a historic church in Houston, Texas, and one of the most famous churches for visitors. Located on Navigation Boulevard, St. Anne was built in 1926 and is home to a vibrant community of worshippers from all over the city. The church has impressive Gothic-style architecture with beautiful stained glass windows, making it an iconic landmark in Houston’s East End district.
As one of the oldest churches in the area, St. Anne continues to be a spiritual center for many residents, and people from different backgrounds and faiths will attend its events.
Christ the King Lutheran Church
2353 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005; (713) 523-2864
Christ, the King Lutheran Church, is one of Houston’s oldest churches, established in 1945. This historic church has served as a religious and cultural cornerstone for its congregation and the city of Houston ever since. It stands out among its peers in a town that offers many impressive places of worship to explore.
This landmark church features stunning German-style architecture, with an ornate stained glass window adorning the exterior facade. Its grandeur continues inside with intricate carvings and soaring ceilings, making it an ideal spot to take in some beautiful views while learning more about the history of Christianity in Houston. Additionally, Christ the King Lutheran Church provides spiritual retreats throughout the year where visitors can experience meaningful fellowship and inspiring services and activities within its walls.
3700 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77027; (713) 635-4154
Lakewood Church is an iconic and historic church located in Houston, Texas. Founded in 1959 by John Osteen, the church has grown from a small congregation of 200 to over 52,000 members today. Located near the Houston Galleria, Lakewood Church has become one of the hottest destinations for locals and tourists.
Lakewood Church is worth checking out for those interested in experiencing a piece of history while visiting Houston. The majestic building was initially built as an indoor basketball arena in 1975 before being purchased by Pastor Joel Osteen to be transformed into a worship center. Visitors can attend Sunday services or participate in one of the church’s many activities, such as bible studies, prayer meetings, and concerts. It’s also worth noting that entry to Lakewood is free, so visitors can enjoy all these experiences without spending any money!
Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart
1111 St Joseph Pkwy, Houston, TX 77002; (713) 659-1561
The Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart is one of Houston, Texas’s oldest and most beloved churches. Located in downtown Houston, this beautiful Catholic church has been an iconic part of the city’s skyline since its completion in 1908. This stunning structure was designed by renowned architect Nicholas Clayton and featured a unique combination of French Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles.
Visitors to the Co-Cathedral will marvel at its impressive twin spires, intricate stained glass windows, and awe-inspiring grand fresco that adorns the ceiling. It is also home to several works by celebrated artists, including Gabriel Loire from Chartres Cathedral in France, who created five windows for the church between 1948-1951. The Co-Cathedral is an iconic symbol for Catholics throughout Houston and beyond; it is a testament to faith, tradition, and beauty.
Trinity Episcopal Church
1015 Holman St, Houston, TX 77004; (713) 528-4100
Trinity Episcopal Church is one of the most historic churches in Houston and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in religious history. Located on Main Street, this church has been serving its congregation since 1866 and is one of the oldest surviving churches in Houston. Not only does Trinity have a long history, but it also offers beautiful architecture that can be appreciated inside and out.
The church building itself is an example of the Gothic Revival style, with ornate stained glass windows and detailed stonework. Inside the sanctuary, visitors can admire the intricate woodwork on the pews, pulpit, and altar, as well as take in some of the artwork from renowned local artists. Additionally, numerous memorials are dedicated to those who fought during various wars throughout America’s history.
The church also has a rich history of involvement in the local community and was an essential part of the civil rights movement. Tourists should visit this church to experience its beautiful architecture and learn about the history of the church.
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
3511 Yoakum Blvd, Houston, TX 77006; (713) 522-4541
Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral is a historic architecture in Houston, Texas. Built-in 1914, it was the first Greek Orthodox church in Houston and is still one of the most iconic landmarks today. The cathedral’s exquisite appearance is a testament to its historical significance; its Romanesque Revival-style architecture featuring round arches and recessed porticos lends itself to an air of elegance that can be seen from miles around. The walls are made with brick masonry and adorned with sculptures, while four impressive minarets top each corner of the building.
The interior is just as beautiful as its exterior, boasting colorful stained glass windows and intricate mosaics adorning many surfaces within the church hall.
Second Baptist Church
6400 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77057; (713) 465-3408
The Second Baptist Church of Houston is a historic religious institution that has been part of the city’s landscape since 1841. It began as a tiny white house of worship, and today it stands as an impressive structure with towering spires and breathtaking architecture.
In its 180-year history, the Second Baptist Church has seen many changes. From an initial congregation of only five families to thousands today, it has grown into a thriving spiritual home for people from all walks of life in Houston. Its original building was replaced by an even grander structure in 1912; this majestic tower remains one of the most recognizable landmarks in town.
This sprawling church complex includes numerous classrooms and recreational facilities, a sanctuary filled with ornate stained glass windows, exquisite woodwork, and handcrafted furnishings that honor its rich heritage.
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
1805 W Alabama St, Houston, TX 77098; (713) 526-2140
Founded in 1839, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is the oldest organized congregation of any faith in Harris County. The current building was designed by renowned architect Eugene Heiner and completed in 1908. It features elements of Gothic Revival architecture that were popular at the time, including a bell tower that stands out against the Houston skyline.
The church has undergone multiple restorations over its long history, the most recent being completed in 2011 and involving interior and exterior work to keep this historic structure safe for generations. Inside you will find many original architectural details, such as stained-glass windows, leaded glass skylights, and stone carvings from local quarries. Several memorial plaques are also dedicated to those who have been members of St Stephen’s throughout its long history.
Pilgrim Congregational Church
5501 S Main St, Houston, TX 77004; (713) 529-7235
Pilgrim Congregational Church has been a fixture in the community since its construction in 1927. The church was designed by famed architect Alfred C. Finn, who played a significant role in the development of Houston’s architectural history throughout the 20th century.
The building is a mix of Romanesque Revival and Neo-Classical styles, creating an impressive structure that stands out among other buildings in downtown Houston. The exterior walls are made of brick with limestone trimming and detailing, while the interior features Corinthian columns and stained glass windows that create a stunning atmosphere for worshipers. Additionally, the facade features several sculptures from renowned artist Henri Greber which depict Jesus’ life story and his resurrection at Easter time.
Congregation Beth Israel
5600 N Braeswood Blvd, Houston, TX 77096; (713) 771-6221
Congregation Beth Israel is one of Houston, Texas’s oldest and most historic congregations. Since its establishment in 1854, this congregation has stood as a symbol of Jewish heritage and culture for the local community. The synagogue is a well-known landmark due to its impressive architecture, which stands out among other buildings on Houston’s skyline. This beautiful structure has been an essential part of Houston’s cityscape since its construction over a century ago.
The synagogue is a beautiful example of classic architecture, featuring a large dome, stained glass windows, and a stately building. William Ward Watkin, an architect of great renown at the time, designed the building. The style features classical elements combined with Victorian designs, giving it an elegant look that blends perfectly with its surroundings. Visitors will find an auditorium flooded with natural light and several stunning stained glass windows that create a peaceful atmosphere perfect for worship services or other events hosted by Congregation Beth Israel.
First Baptist Church Houston
7401 Katy Fwy, Houston, TX 77024; (713) 681-5000
First Baptist Church Houston is a historic building standing proudly in Houston for over 150 years. It is one of the oldest churches in the area, and its beautiful architecture has stood the test of time. The church was built with an interesting combination of Gothic Revival and Italianate styles, making it unique from other Houston structures.
The exterior walls are made from red brick with details that have been carefully crafted to bring out the piece and beauty of each feature. From its tall steeple to its pointed arches, First Baptist Church has many features that make it stand out as a historic landmark in Houston. Visitors will find ornate stained glass windows illuminated during services, adding even more character to this already impressive structure.
Houston’s First Baptist Church
7401 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024; (713) 681-5000
Houston’s First Baptist Church is a historic landmark in the city. Located in downtown Houston, this church has been integral to the city’s spiritual and cultural life since its formation in 1841. Originally founded as a congregation of just 14 people, the church now serves more than 8,000 members who come from all walks of life to worship every week.
The church was initially built out of wood and quickly became one of the most prominent churches in Houston due to its central location and important place within the community. Today, The First Baptist Church continues to serve as an example for many other churches around Houston and beyond by providing spiritual guidance and promoting faith-based values throughout the region. This historic building is also home to various outreach programs that help those in need throughout the city, providing physical and spiritual support to countless individuals each year.
St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
2450 River Oaks Blvd, Houston, TX 77019; (713) 523-3811
St. John, the Divine Episcopal Church, is a historic landmark in Houston, Texas. Built in 1904, this church has been integral to the city’s history for over a century. The beautiful architecture and unique design make it one of the most recognizable churches in Houston.
The interior of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church features an exquisite blend of Romanesque and English Gothic styles. The church building comprises two stories, with soaring arches at the entrance and twelve stained glass windows depicting Bible scenes. Its distinct bell tower can be seen from miles away, making it a beloved symbol of hope for many people in Houston and beyond.
The original parish house was built in 1923 to accommodate worshipers on Sundays and special occasions such as baptisms or confirmations.
Cathedral of Hope
1625 Main St, Houston, TX 77002; (713) 222-2593
This iconic church building was built to represent the hope and faith within the congregation, and its beauty has been admired by many throughout its long history.
The architecturally stunning building was first opened in 1894 when it served as a Presbyterian Church for over a hundred years. The original structure was later renovated in the 1990s to create a more modern feel for the expanding congregation. Today, visitors can appreciate this unique combination of old-world beauty with contemporary design elements from every angle.
From its majestic stained-glass windows to its striking stone facade, there’s no shortage of things to explore at this iconic landmark. Visitors can also enjoy worship services each Sunday or volunteer for various community projects the church hosts annually.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
11000 Richmond Ave, Houston, TX 77042; (713) 783-2211
Located in an impressive building on Main Street, this church has been a part of the city for over 150 years. It was founded by Joseph Smith Jr., who organized the first congregation near Palmyra, New York, in April 1830. The church is known for its strong emphasis on family values and devotion to the Christian faith.
Visitors can explore this historic site to learn more about its history and participate in weekly worship services held every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. Additionally, visitors can participate in activities such as visiting the museum, which displays artifacts from early Mormon pioneers or attending youth programs focused on teaching young people about their faith.
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
3471 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027; (713) 520-0099
St. Luke’s United Methodist Church has served the local community since its founding in 1869 and is a cherished landmark for those who call Houston home. St. Luke’s offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience 19th-century architecture in a modern city setting, making it an extraordinary place to visit and explore.
The striking exterior of St. Luke’s stands out against the surrounding high-rise buildings as a reminder of Houston’s rich history. The classic Gothic Revival style building includes detailed stained glass windows, vaulted ceilings, and decorative spires that make it truly remarkable from the outside.
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church
18223 Point Lookout Dr, Nassau Bay, TX 77058; (281) 333-2377
Located in Montrose, this beautiful church was constructed in 1921, making it almost a century old. St. Thomas the Apostle stands out for its distinctive style and red-tiled roof as a classic example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
The inside of the church features stunning stained glass windows depicting religious scenes along with intricate stone stonework and artistry carved into wooden altars and furnishings. Open to visitors during regular services and other special occasions, St. Thomas is a must-see destination for anyone wishing to experience authentic religious history in Houston’s oldest neighborhoods. Its proximity to other attractions makes it perfect for sightseers and those seeking a unique spiritual experience.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
1330 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77008; (713) 862-1520
Founded in 1853, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ is a historic religious building in Houston, Texas. The church forms part of Houston’s famous skyline and provides visitors with an insight into the history and culture of the city. It is one of the most recognizable churches in Houston, offering guests breathtaking views and an incomparable experience.
The church serves as a reminder of the 19th-century American Gothic-style architecture found throughout Houston. With its tall towers, colorful stained glass windows, intricate brickwork, and ornate wood carvings, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ is truly a sight to behold! Each year, thousands flock to this remarkable edifice for its historical significance and beautiful aesthetic appeal. What’s more?
First Presbyterian Church
5300 Main St, Houston, TX 77004; (713) 529-5771
The First Presbyterian Church is another landmark site in Houston established in 1839, featuring stained glass windows dedicated to significant figures in American histories, such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
It is one of the oldest churches in the city and has been a staple of the Houston community for over 160 years. The church features a large sanctuary, stained glass windows, and a classic bell tower.
The church also has a rich history of involvement in the local community, especially in the civil rights movement and the fight against poverty. Tourists should visit this church to experience its beautiful architecture and rich history.
Houston is home to many famous and historic churches that are worth visiting. Whether you’re looking for a place of worship or want to experience the grandeur of these unique buildings, there’s something special to see at each one. With a city as diverse as Houston, religious culture has made its mark on the cityscape in an undeniable way. It’s easy to find a church in almost every neighborhood, and visitors should take the time to appreciate these architectural wonders.