St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Springfield, Massachusetts

In 1907, the community of St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral celebrated the formation of the church with its first Divine Liturgy. Formerly built for The Memorial Church in 1864, the parishoners of St. George Cathedral acquired its current structure in 1940 and transformed the Gothic Revival granite building designed by Richard Upjohn into their own house of worship. Named after Saint George, who is known as a liberator, defender and healer, the Church continues its mission in his name. The Church has welcomed Orthodox Christians and others from such places as Greece, Lebanon, Russian, Georgia and Romania, and now baptizes “children that are from the fourth and fifth generation born in this country”.

Trinity United Methodist Church, Springfield, Massachusetts

With roots dating back to 1791, Trinity United Methodist Church in Springfield, Massachusetts considers itself a “Community Cathedral” dedicated to worship, learning and recreation. Completed in 1929, its current structure is built in the Gothic Revival style, designed by Boston firm Allen and Collens. The Church takes great pride in its stained glass windows, which are designed by Wilbur Herbert Burnham (1887-1974) of Boston. Of particular note is the Rose Window, located at the rear of the nave, presenting Burnham’s interpretation of Psalm 150, which encourages people to rejoice in God with music and dance. At the center of the window, a cross and crown of Christ are depicted to symbolize victory through sacrifice. With this in mind, it is not surprising that the Church’s mission is to “celebrate God’s love, nurture relationships with God and one another, and serve our community and world as we share the light of Christ”.

Saint George Cathedral, Boston, Massachusetts

Organized in 1908, Saint George Cathedral is the first Albanian Orthodox Church in the United States and the largest Orthodox Christian house of worship in the state of Massachusetts. First established in response to the growing local Albanian community who began immigrating to the Boston area in 1886, its current structure was built in 1872 and designed by Boston architect Samuel J.F. Thayer in the Gothic Revival style to originally house the Second Hawes Congregational Church. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building was obtained in 1949 by the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America. Now comprised of worshippers from diverse origins and backgrounds, the parish continues its mission to “address contemporary issues at home and in society to find personal salvation in the Living God”.

Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland, Maine

Formed in 1851, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke was chosen to be the cathedral church for the Episcopal Diocese of Maine in 1866. Its current structure, built in the Gothic Revival style, was designed by Charles Coolidge Haight and completed in 1868. The sanctuary, with its quintessential Gothic Revival elements such as vaulted ceilings and high pointed arches throughout, reflects the philosophical thought associated with Anglo-Catholicism. The parish is particularly fond of the following sanctuary components: the Wright Memorial Rose Window Array (1898) installed above the altar and attributed to the Whitefriars Glass Company; the Incarnation Reredos & High Altar Assembly (1925), designed by Ralph Adams Cram and sculpted by Ernest G. Pellegrini; and the Cathedral’s organ which was designed by Ernest M. Skinner and installed in 1925. Following in the path of modern Episcopalianism, the Cathedral Church of St. Luke’s mission is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Jesus Christ.”

Cathedral of Saint Paul, Worcester, Massachusetts

Founded in 1869, the Cathedral of Saint Paul has served as the mother church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester since 1950, when the Diocese was established in the city. Its current grand structure, built in the Gothic Revival style, was designed by Elbridge Boyden & Son and completed in 1874. Important events within Saint Paul’s life are narrated within ten monumental stained glass windows located in the sanctuary and nave. The Cathedral of Saint Paul was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

Saint John the Baptist Church, Brunswick, Maine

Founded in 1877, Saint John the Baptist Church was created to serve the French Canadian population in Brunswick and the surrounding area. Designed by Charles R. Greco of Boston, Massachusetts, the church’s current Gothic Revival style structure was completed in 1927. Of particular note are the murals by Giovanni Prampolini depicting Christian symbolism and iconography that reside on the walls and ceiling of the sanctuary. The stained glass windows designed by Zettler Studios of New York complement the paintings, illustrating symbols and stories from the New Testament. The parishioners of Saint John the Baptist Church take great pride in their church, as it “represents the commitment, faith, generosity, and hard work of generations of Catholic people from the greater Brunswick area.”

First Parish Church, Brunswick, Maine

Founded in 1717, First Parish Church’s current structure, completed in 1846 and designed by architect Richard Upjohn, is a radical departure from the traditional congregational church design that preceded it. The Gothic Revival design sparked a major shift from “puritan simplicity” that would spread across the country. The Christian Monitor wrote, “It is something of a novelty…yet there is an air of dignity and repose about the whole building, exceedingly appropriate to a Christian temple.”

The Church’s ground-breaking design also acts a metaphor for its many times forward thinking parish. From its inception, First Parish Church had been a place of discussion, debate and reflection. From providing support to the Continental Congress to debating the separation of Maine from Massachusetts to the inspiring moment when Harriet Beecher Stowe on March 2, 1851 in pew 23 envisioned the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which portrayed the evils of slavery, these intangible fragments of First Parish Church’s heritage reflects some of the pinnacle moments in U.S. history.

St. Mary’s Church, Newport, Rhode Island

Established in 1828, St. Mary’s Church is the oldest Catholic parish in Rhode Island. Designed by noted church architect Patrick Keely along with clergy, this brownstone Gothic Revival style structure was completed in 1852 to meet the spiritual needs of Newport’s growing Irish population. With the sanctuary’s 42 stained glass windows, ornamental woodwork and vaulted wooden hammered beam ceiling, one may certainly bask in the beauty and grandeur of the interior, which can elicit a desire to contemplate the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Emmanuel Church, Newport, Rhode Island

Formed in 1841 by three women who wanted to make the Episcopalian faith available to all who wished to attend, Emmanuel Church began with humble “cottage meetings” in local homes, which had quickly grown to eighty-eight parishioners by 1849. In 1855, the first structure was built to house the Emmanuel Church, and as the parish grew, a new and more permanent building was erected in 1901 and completed in 1902. Designed by Ralph Adams Cram of the architectural firm, Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, its current stone structure is built in the Gothic Revival style referencing the shape of a Latin cross. At the front of the church above the choir seats are oak carvings of faces that represent people of all ages, means and abilities—symbolizing the entire community the church wishes to serve. Through its fervent mission of being accessible to all, Emmanuel Church has become known as “the Church of the people” where the “rich and poor, high and low, great and humble—all worship and work together as friends.”

Old South Church, Boston, Massachusetts

The congregation of Old South Church in Boston was gathered in 1669 to serve all who seek a spiritual journey in Christian faith. Completed in 1875, the church’s highly ornate Gothic Revival Style is atypical of a traditional New England congregational church. While architects Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears‘ design intention was to, “radiate the opulent taste and the sense of optimism and progress of the Industrial Revolution following the Civil War”, the congregation has been recognized for equality and social justice, with such notable congregants as Samuel Sewall who published the first anti-slavery writing in the United States in 1700, The Selling of Joseph. As poet John Greenleaf Whittier eloquently wrote, ‘So long as Boston shall Boston be, And her bay tides rise and fall, Shall freedom stand in the Old South Church, And plead for the rights of all.”