Grace Episcopal Church, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Incorporated in 1834, the establishment of Grace Episcopal Church was met with distrust and suspicion due to the association of the Tories with the Episcopal church in post-Revolutionary War New Bedford. With courage and determination, the Grace Church persevered and its parish grew due to the changing economy within New Bedford, as manufacturing slowly replaced the whaling industry in the 19th century drawing more Episcopalians to the community. Built in 1881, the church’s current structure was designed in the High Victorian Gothic style by the architects Ware and Van Brunt of Boston. In 1987, a fire was set, which destroyed the interior of the church. Shortly afterwards, Grace Church adopted the Phoenix as a symbol of its rebirth when it undertook the four years of rebuilding. Perhaps the Phoenix may also serve as a testament to the church’s ability to persevere despite adversities since its first days serving the New Bedford community.

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”.

Trinity Lutheran Church, New Haven, Connecticut

Organized in 1865, Trinity Lutheran Church in New Haven is the oldest Lutheran congregation in Connecticut. Its structure is regarded as one of New Haven’s finest examples of High Victorian Gothic, an eclectic architectural style of the mid to late 19th century. Designed by David Russell Brown for the Church of the Redeemer, the building was constructed in 1870 and has been occupied by Trinity since 1916. The sanctuary retains its late 19th century Victorian style. At the front of the church above the altar resides a large stained glass window referencing the rose, which is considered the unofficial symbol of the congregation. With such amenities as a classroom and bowling alley, the church strives to be a beacon or community center for “uniting all people in a common bond of Christian fellowship.”