Ole Gospel Tabernacle Church Keeps it Country in Tallahassee

December 17, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

An old country church in Tallahassee has really gone country! The Ole Gospel Tabernacle Church presents a folky appearance on Geddie Road as drivers approach the US 90 intersection. The original sanctuary probably dates from the 1920’s or 1930’s based on its wood frame structure and large double-hung windows. The modest foyer addition in front was most likely added in the 60’s or 70’s. But the ... Read More

Worship Space / Religious

A Turning Point for Turning Point International Church

December 16, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Sometime between June 2014 and December 2015, the Turning Point International Church reached a turning point. The ministry shed its image of a rugged old country church and replaced it with an upscale look that reflects its international vision. This facelift probably didn’t break the bank, but it’s a wonder what a new roof, a new coat of plaster, the thoughtful application of new colors can do! ... Read More

Holy Place / Worship Space

Two of Three Historic NYC Churches Landmarked

December 15, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

In past blogs, I’ve noted the impact on several churches in New York City that were part of an unprecedented backlog of cases, some languishing on the docket for more than 50 years! The Landmarks Preservation Commission has been cleaning up the mess by taking up cases in batches. According the New York YIMBY website, nearing the end of the backlog this week, final decisions were handed down for ... Read More

Worship Space / Historic Preservation

Black’s Memorial Baptist - A Progression of Upgrades?

December 14, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

Black’s Memorial Missionary Baptist Church stands on a corner lot on a modest residential street in the St. John’s neighborhood in North East Austin. Noting the shape of the front facade and the stone exterior, it is easy to speculate about what may have been a progression of vernacular upgrades. This African American church ministering to working families may not have used established church ... Read More

Worship Space / Austin / Historic Preservation

Bethel UMC Tallahassee Surviving For Over 180 Years

December 13, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

What can you say about a church approaching its second century with a history of keeping pastors an average of less than three years? Or one that built the exterior of its structure and then waited 40 years to finish out the insides? Visiting the Bethel United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, Floriday, I’d say a pretty determined community has been keeping this place going for generations.   Even ... Read More

Worship Space / Historic Preservation

Interfaith Chapel With Puzzling Interior

December 12, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

I have a deep appreciation for the International Airport Chaplaincy that supports and promotes ministries all over the globe. Their spaces, however, are frequently borrowed or repurposed rooms that often feel makeshift or leftover. Some airports do support these ministries and provide some innovate faith environments. So I was very interested in Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport that actually has ... Read More

Worship Space / Chapels

St. John the Divine Will Finally Be a Designated Landmark

December 08, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

When I attended Columbia in the early 1980’s, work had just started on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine after decades of inactivity. We referred to our neighbor in Morningside Heights as St. John the Unfinished. The church has been a work in progress since its cornerstone was laid on December 27, 1892 and continues to this day. The Cathedral, however, is not a designated New York City ... Read More

Worship Space / Historic Preservation

Lonely Marker Is All That Remains of Mount Rose Church In Lorena

December 07, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

According to Historic McLennan County, An Illustrated History, the Mount Rose Missionary Baptist Church was built to serve a small but dedicated African American community in 1920. An A.M.E. church and a school were also located on Houston Street.   The text includes a description of the scene on October 1, 1921 when the Ku Klux Klan decided to parade in Lorena.   County Sheriff, Bob Buchanan, ... Read More

Worship Space / Historic Preservation / Church Demolition

Lorena Church May Have New Zealand Connection

December 04, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

The Texas Historical Commission does an amazing job providing resources and preserving historical records for communities all across the state. Their process for designating a landmark is rigorous and requires a lot of research and preparation from anyone or any group that chooses to participate. There are, however, times when the records aren’t always accurate or consistent. I’ve noticed a few ... Read More

Worship Space / Historic Preservation

House of Religions, a Place of Shared Faith in Bern

November 29, 2016 by: Ben Heimsath

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and an Alevite all went to their place of worship -- and it was the same place! That means they were in Bern, Switzerland where an inspired idea that began over 15 years ago has blossomed into a vibrant institution. The House of Religions is a mixed-use facility constructed jointly by faith groups that share a heritage in the local community. In ... Read More

Worship Space / Church Design & Construction / Religious