The 11 Oldest Churches in the US [2023 Update] (2023)

A fascinating area of ​​study might be the oldest churches in the United States. When European pilgrims first came to America in the 14th century, they brought their Christian faith with them. Given the importance of religion at the time, it didn't take long for the first settlers to build temples and try to convert the indigenous people to Christianity.

These places of worship are still in use today after hundreds of years, and some are currently being restored and reconstructed.

Here is a list of the oldest churches in the United States.

1. Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (founded: 1540)

The 11 Oldest Churches in the US [2023 Update] (1)

The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is the oldest church in the United States. About thirty years after the Spanish appeared in the New World and founded the Caribbean border capital of San Juan, they brought Roman Catholicism with them, initially building a wooden church.

Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, who had close ties to the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista and served as Puerto Rico's legislative chief, was one of the most important people buried in the House of God: Juan Ponce de León passed the spoon. exact year when the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista was completed.

2. Mission Church of San Estevan del Rey (founded: 1629)

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Mission The Church of San Estevan del Rey was founded in 1629 by Franciscan priests who came to Acoma Pueblo to convert the natives to Christianity. During the 17th century the Spanish built some missions to control their pilgrimage area in New Mexico.

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Over the next few years, the Spanish strove to replace the beliefs of the Acoma with those of Christianity. After the Pueblo Rebellion of 1680, the Acoma again took charge of their pueblo for a few years, but were finally defeated in 1696.

3. Jamestown Church (founded: 1639)

Jamestown Church has a long and fascinating history dating back to 1607, shortly after English pioneers established their first permanent settlement, Jamestown. The settlers built Jamestown Church on their fort, which burned down about a year later.

Two other wooden houses of worship were built on a similar site before the pilgrims finally decided to build a more permanent block structure. It is considered one of the oldest churches in the United States.

4. Old Trinity Church (foundation: 1675)

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Old Trinity Church was built circa 1671 in Church Creek, Maryland and is the longest standing Episcopal church in the United States. Regular administrations are still held at Old Trinity Church, and this is believed to be the longest-standing bishops' assembly in the United States. The first church served a small local area of ​​English pilgrims, and in 1853 the parish was renewed to reflect the Gothic engineering of the time.

The parish has also now been renamed Old Trinity Church. There were times when Old Trinity Church was close to decay, but it was able to survive thanks to a few local people who made a difference. From 1953 to 1960, the Garbish family restored Old Trinity Church in their unique pioneer style and is the oldest church in the United States.

5. Whitechapel of St. Mary (founded: 1679)

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St Mary's Whitechapel was first built around 1669 and was nearing completion in 1675. Although no permanent church building was built until 1669, the Colonial Virginia area had existed since 1657.

According to the records of St. Mary, the founder of the ward was James Jones, grandfather of President James Monroe. As the meeting progressed, St Mary's Whitechapel added some developments.

6. Old Ship Church (founded: 1681)

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The Old Ship Church was originally established as a Puritan church in 1681 by settlers from Hingham, England. Although no one knows for sure how the actual location of the ancient ship shows, the community may have been named for its remarkable roof structure, which resembles the hull of a ship.

During the Victorian period the interior of the Old Ship Church was renovated to reflect the style of the time, however the congregation returned to its unique status in the 1930's to preserve this remarkable structure.

7. Third Haven Meeting House (Fundada: 1682)

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The Third Haven Meeting House is the oldest existing Quaker church, or Friends meeting house, favored by people of the religion. In the 1660s there were some Friends gatherings in Talbot County, and in 1681 their members realized they needed a more durable meetinghouse.

The following year three lots were purchased and it took two years to construct the Third Haven Meeting House.

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8. Luke's Church (founded: 1682)

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St Luke's Church was a compound Anglican church sometime in the 17th century. There is disagreement as to the age of St Luke's, with local legend saying that the parish has existed since 1632 and design historians and archaeologists place the parish much later, around the 1680s.

St. Luke's Church is believed to be the oldest surviving church in Virginia, despite the fact that St. Mary's Whitechapel is older and remains of the 1639 Jamestown church survive. St. Luke's Church has survived well despite its age and her appearance is unusual . The Church of San Lucas is currently a gallery and a National Historic Monument.

9. Ancient Indian Meeting House (Fundada: 1758)

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As the name suggests, the Old Indian Meeting House is the most established Native American church in the eastern United States. According to most sources, the former Native American meeting house was first opened in 1684 for use by the Mashpee Wampanoag clan, who had been converted to Christianity by European settlers.

Most stories about the current Old Indian Meeting House state that the 1684 church was moved to its current location in 1717. However, some local antique dealers dispute this assurance and accept that the current church is not the first building from 1684.

10. Mission San Miguel (established: 1821)

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Mission San Miguel or San Miguel Chapel in Santa Fe, New Mexico is the most established church in the continental United States. While the earliest recorded history of Mission San Miguel dates back to 1628, church development began in 1610.

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As stated by historians, the San Miguel Mission was operated by Tlaxcalan Indians who arrived in New Mexico from ancient Mexico in 1598 with an unexpected Spanish advance by Don Juan Oñate.

11. The Basilica of Baltimore (founded: 1821)

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was one of the first major religious buildings built in the United States after the enactment of the United States Constitution. Also known as the Baltimore Basilica, it was the first Roman Catholic cathedral to be reunited in the United States.

These particular places of worship are among the oldest in the United States. Some are in pretty good condition, while others are on the verge of being completely destroyed.

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