Arts & Culture

Washington, D.C.’s Most Interesting Churches

July 28, 2014 7:00 AM

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File photo of a church. (Photo by Edward Charles Le Grice/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

File photo of a church. (Photo by Edward Charles Le Grice/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

There is an abundance of almost everything in D.C., good and bad, including churches. The District is home to some of the oldest, largest and most beautiful churches in the country. The area is packed with what seems like hundreds of churches, of different denominations and styles. These are some of the most interesting churches in D.C.

Basilica Of The National Shrine Of The Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 526-8300
www.nationalshrine.com

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Washington, D.C., the Basilica of The National Shrine of The Immaculate Conception beckons churchgoers from all around the region, country and world. The largest Roman Catholic church in North America, it has been called America’s Catholic Church. A beautiful place of worship, the Basilica contains gorgeous works of art, including the “world’s largest collection of of contemporary ecclesiastical art.” Not just a place for local Catholics to attend, this historic church is a must see for anyone visiting the area.

Washington National Cathedral
3101 Wisconsin Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 537-6200
www.nationalcathedral.org

The sixth largest cathedral in the world, the Washington National Cathedral can trace its first plans back to the presidency of George Washington and it took over 200 years to materialize, finally being completed in 1990, just 24 years ago. With Gothic architecture, a stained-glass window that features lunar rock, gargoyles, The Great Organ, beautiful gardens and more, the cathedral is a wonder just to visit. Sitting on the highest point in DC, the Washington National Cathedral is a peak of spiritual and community interaction. It has education and music programs that continue to reach out to audiences near and far, including the Cathedral Choirs. Stop by for a visit, to worship or to hear heavenly music.

All Souls Unitarian Church
1500 Harvard St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-5266
www.all-souls.org

A church is seen as a place where all can go to feel safe and loved, but not all churches are as accepting as you may want. All Souls Unitarian Church is truly accepting of everyone. With ministries and groups that have missions to help and cater to various members of the community, including the LGBTQ community, All Souls lives up to its name. It also has a New Orleans Service ministry, an environmental justice committee, various cultural partnerships and programs and other programs for children and adults. What makes All Souls stand out is not who it includes, but the fact that it does not exclude.

Related: Best Parent Gathering Places In Washington D.C.

The City Church
4100 River Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20016
(202) 244-2535
www.thecitydc.org

The City Church is very committed to its faith, which sounds obvious, but somehow The City Church exudes faith more so than other churches in the area. This is neither a compliment or mocking, it is just the way it comes across. The City Church loves its community and faith and is not shy about showing it. Modern in its approach, the church has embraced technology, including holding online services. It is seen as the cool church, with somewhat progressive ministries for middle and high school students, programs for the creative arts and a general younger vibe. The City Church is definitely one of the most interesting churches in DC.

Reid Temple
12101 Tech Road
Silver Spring, MD 20904
(301) 679-1100
www.reidtemple.org

With over 10,000 members, Reid Temple is one of the largest church congregations in the DC area. However, that total is a combination of its two locations. Reid Temple has a Glenn Dale campus and a Silver Spring campus. Both serve the community in the ways that they feel are needed, but never compromising the overall mission. Part of the reason so many people flock to this African Methodist Episcopal Church is the level of commitment to the community, including over eight different ministries. Some of the ministries include fine arts, college outreach, marriage enrichment, financial empowerment and street witnessing. Reid Temple cares about all aspects of your life, and strives to help you improve them.

Related: Best Places To Entertain Grandparents On A Budget In Washington DC

Folashade Oyegbola is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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