Places of Worship
For the people who live in the region, Huntington is known as the “City of Churches.” Some residents in the community claim that there are more places of worship on Fifth Avenue in downtown Huntington than any other street in the country. Others boast that there are more churches per capita in Huntington than any city in America. Whether or not that is true, the fact remains the people of the region are proud of their spiritual roots.
Open the phone book yellow pages and you will discover that there is a church for almost every letter of the alphabet. But most of the “flagship” houses of worship in downtown Huntington gave birth to nearly every congregation in the region. Here are just a few:
Christ Temple Church is an Interdenominational church, created out of a revival in 1957 that brought together many residents from diverse denominations. The church recently moved to a newly created facility on Johnstown Road in Huntington.
The First Presbyterian Church was established in 1838, some 33 years before Huntington was founded, and is the mother church of eight or nine other clergies in the area.
Fifth Avenue Baptist, which is more than 130 years old, encompasses half a city block and its main sanctuary will hold up to 1,000 people. The structure’s stately columns make it one of the most recognizable buildings in downtown Huntington.
Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church can trace its roots back to a visit to the Huntington area in 1788 by Bishop Francis Asbury, the first Methodist Bishop in America. The church was fashioned after the old European cathedrals which convey strength and stability.
Trinity Episcopal Church, renowned for its stunning stained glass by world-renowned glass artisan Louis C. Tiffany and the Willett Glass Studio, is the birthplace of such local charities as “Hospice of Huntington” and “Contact Huntington.”
St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church has a strong commitment to education. Today students of all religious denominations attend classes at the grade school and high school.
The B’Nai Shalom Temple is both architecturally and historically significant to the Huntington region. The temple was designed by the prominent architectural firm of Meanor and Handloser which designed several of the regions most impressive buildings. The temple is eclectic in style, with strong Byzantine and Romanesque influences. The congregation is home to more than 100 families.
A spirit of cooperation exists between the many houses of worship in the region including ecumenical services on holidays and a team concept to tackling such problems as poverty, homelessness and hunger.