Arts & Culture

Historic Churches In Las Vegas

March 31, 2014 6:00 AM

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(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

(Photo by H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images)

Say the words church and Las Vegas together and the perception might be a list of wedding chapels in southern Nevada. However, there are more than 500 churches and synagogues representing more than 40 faiths in the Las Vegas Valley. Since Las Vegas officially became a city on May 15, 1905, and with the building of Hoover Dam, many families moved and settled in southern Nevada; building and sustaining houses of worship. Historic churches add to Las Vegas’ culture, past and present.
Guardian Angel Cathedral
302 Cathedral Way
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 735-5241
www.parishesonline.com

Opened in 1963, Guardian Angel Cathedral, serving the Roman Catholic faith, is actually located just off the famed Las Vegas Strip north of Encore Las Vegas. The actual building is off the strip on a side street, created for easy access. Famed African-American architect Paul Revere Williams designed the basilica-style sanctuary. Along with the numerous services available, one of the most interesting features is the stained glass mural in front depicting resorts on the Strip going up in flames. However the stained glass is now dated. Other than the Stratosphere, the casinos in the mural have been replaced by bigger resorts.

ctrspiritualliving Historic Churches In Las Vegas

Photo Credit: http://www.cslglv.org

Center for Spiritual Living
1420 E. Harmon Ave.
Las Vegas, NV 89119
(702) 739-8200
www.cslglv.org

Built during the early 1960s, the Center for Spiritual Living, known then as First Church of Religious Science, dedicated the building on November 3, 1963. The church remains, serving a non-denominational, spiritually-based congregation. Built with an A frame showcasing high arches and a balcony, a raised stage was incorporated at the pulpit for the addition of musicians and bands. The woodwork and design elements flow to the courtyard and social hall embracing its past.

St. Joan of Arc
315 S. Casino Center Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(702) 382-9909
www.parishesonline.com

Founded in 1908, this is one of the oldest active churches in Las Vegas. Located in downtown Las Vegas, this Roman Catholic Church sits in the shadows of casinos and tall office buildings. Walking up the steps, visitors are greeted by two statues including the Virgin Mary with a mural over the door. Next to the church is an open courtyard with a larger statute of the Virgin Mary. Stained glass windows depict Biblical times with breathtaking artwork surrounding the pulpit.

Related:  Top Bars With History In Las Vegas

Temple Beth Shalom
10700 Havenwood Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89135
(702) 804-1333
www.bethsholomlv.org

As southern Nevada’s oldest Jewish congregation, Temple Beth Sholom was first built in 1957 in central Las Vegas. In 2000, the temple was moved to the northwest and designed as one of America’s largest houses of worship. The tradition of the building is maintained with Jerusalem stone being used to line the façade around the main entrance. History was further included when the 14-foot mahogany doors from the original building were installed in the new temple. The rich past of the temple is depicted throughout the building.

St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church
5300 S. El Camino Road
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 221-8245
www.vegasgreekorthodox.com

While St. John The Baptist Greek Orthodox church was established in Las Vegas 55 years ago, the church was moved from downtown Las Vegas to its present west side location in 1992. Still, the architect designed the building as a Byzantine-style cathedral as a beacon in the desert. With intricate art work, including overhead murals depicting John the Baptist surrounded by angels, the sanctuary is similar to the one in the previous church. Outside of the building is landscaped to continue that feeling of serenity.

Related: Top Murals In Las Vegas

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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