Great cities have diverse populations practicing many forms of religion. Downtown Austin, recently one of the most rapidly growing neighborhoods in Austin, has since the 19th century been a destination for religious services for the entire city. So much interesting history is contained in a handful of downtown Austin cathedrals.
People are drawn to downtown for the active and walkable lifestyle, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. Much less visible is the demand for places of worship. I’m not suggesting that people move downtown because of the historic venues. I am suggesting that once people move downtown they discover these venues. Most of my clients are couples in their 30s-40s (most without children), empty nesters, and singles. While more and more families move downtown every week, I’ve observed a new genre of religious organization emerge that lacks the legacy of Austin’s historic churches, but provide a modern and accessible message. Many of these groups choose to rent spaces like the Austin Music Hall to conduct their services.
In researching this post, I rediscovered Scott Schalchlin and his blog “The Gospel According To Austin” where he shares his experiences at several churches around Austin. One in particular drives home the point that there is something for everybody… checkout Austin City Life at the Parish club on E 6th Street. This is a non-denominational church that reaches out to Austin’s creative class and embraces new urbanism.
I’ve added a handful of places of worship to the Official DAB map of downtown Austin. Please use the comments to let me know of places I’ve overlooked.
Cathedral of Saint Mary
St. David’s Episcopal Church
Central Christian Church
Central Presbyterian Church
Nueces Mosque (aka Downtown Mosque)
Reuel Nash says
You might consider adding Congregational Church of Austin — a small United Church of Christ congregation near the UT campus at 23rd and San Antonio. We’re fairly liberal and “Open and Affirming”.
Jude Galligan says
Lake Hills Church meets downtown at the music hall.