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Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville

7 Beautiful Churches and Cathedrals in North Carolina- A Scenic Spiritual Trip (2024)

If you are on a journey to explore architecture in America, begin by counting on its Churches and Cathedrals. And if you are starting from North Carolina, you have truly many options. The State of North Carolina is home to thousands of beautiful Churches, Cathedrals, Temples, Synagogues, Mosques, and other places of Spiritual attraction. Cities like Charlotte and Ashville alone are home to over 700 and over 300 churches each. Throughout the beautiful landscape of the state lies several religiously affiliated schools and myriad faith-based conference centers.

A scenic spiritual trip to North Carolina will take you through the best churches of not just the state but the nation as well. Some of these spiritual structures step back so swiftly into the past that you will refuse to believe if they actually stand in the present times. From United States’ biggest Catholic Church to major Black Churches and Elevation Churches, options here are truly varied and endless. Wondering which one to add to your itinerary?

7 Beautiful Churches and Cathedrals In North Carolina- A Scenic Spiritual Trip

Well, this list of the Most Beautiful Churches and Cathedrals in North Carolina will make the selection easy for you. Have a look:

1. St. Matthew Catholic Church in Charlotte

St. Matthew Catholic Church is one of the biggest Catholic Churches in the United States of America. It is with over 10,500 registered families and is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church. Also described as the catholic mega Church, St. Matthew originally started small inside a movie theater. Though slowly, 13.7 percent of the entire population of the Diocese of Charlotte came together with it, making it an extravagant spiritual affair. St. Matthew isn’t very extraordinary in terms of architecture, but for every mention of churches in North Carolina, it deserves utmost attention. One can visit St. Matthew for mass, confession, and other spiritual deeds.

2. Basilica of St. Lawrence in Asheville

Nestled right in downtown Asheville, the Basilica of St. Lawrence is an architectural treasure in North Carolina. Standing for over a century now, the Basilica was designed by Rafael Gustavino and Richard Sharpe Smith and is the largest freestanding elliptical dome in the United States. Statues of saints adorn this minor Basilica; an altar made up of Tennessee marble, a wood carving of the crucifixion, and polychrome and terra cotta walls. Right above the sanctuary is a Spanish wood carving of the Virgin Mary and John the Apostle that appears like mourning at the Martyrdom of Christ. Many of Basilica’s stained-glass windows were brought down from Munich, Germany, and are one delight to watch.

The Basilica of St. Lawrence has two chapels, including the Chapel of Our Lady (to the left of the altar) and the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel (to the right of the altar). The attraction also includes a Catholic library, a priest’s house, and a gift/souvenir shop.

3. Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville

Grace Episcopal is historically and architecturally important and is unarguably the most beautiful Church in North Carolina. This high-country Church has a cozy yet gorgeous interior that adds character and charm to its beauty. The present church building was designed by Richard Sharp Smith, an English architect, and was first used in 1905. Grace Episcopal has a beautiful stone building up on a small hill, surrounded by green manicured grounds. On the inside are basic but beautiful wooden chairs and gorgeous golden lights that add a warm touch. The best time to visit the Church is during the Halloween and Thanksgiving seasons. Christmas, too is quite beautiful at Grace Episcopal. The area around Grace Episcopal Church in Asheville experience high traffic since it has a busy shopping street nearby. Whenever visiting the Church, try avoiding personal vehicles and choosing public transport, especially bikes, for added convenience.

4. First Baptist Church in Winston-Salem

First Baptist Church in Winston-Salem is another stunning architectural achievement in North Carolina. The Church was constituted back in 1871 and held an association with the Pilot Mountain Baptist. The mission of the Church is to reach, preach, and teach the Gospel to every individual of God. The architecturally stunning church exteriors, with a dome and tower complementing each other, keep visitors captivated on the streets. Especially in the middle of multiple urban buildings, every single feature of the church building looks superior. In September 2022, First Baptist Church will complete its 150 years of the successful spiritual journey. The culminating celebration and love and grace of God are what are going to surround this marvelous architectural and spiritual property.

5. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte

North Carolina is home to some major black churches, and the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is one of them. The Church is located inside a huge 1970s typical American Protestant barn. From the outdoors, it has buff-colored bricks, whereas, from the indoor, the light wood, with padded pews and carpet, adds to the charm. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is nothing but God’s living room, and one can feel it simply by spending some time here. With over 4,200-plus baptized members, the Church has got a very appropriate name; no doubt, it is the friendliest Church in the town. The celebration of worship here does not differentiate between cast, creed, and color and treats everyone equally. One can either visit the place for spiritual purposes and join masses and prayers or visit it to admire its architectural beauty.

6. Bald Head Island Chapel

Also known as the Village Chapel, the Bald Head Island Chapel is another beautiful Church in North Carolina. Its exteriors are full of shades of grey and have an authentic modern English feel to them. Located in the picturesque village, the Chapel is within proximity to the Old Baldy Lighthouse, near Creekside. Every Sunday at 8:30 a.m., the Chapel holds nondenominational services throughout the year. Besides that, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, an additional service is held at 10 a.m. This historic Chapel is also popular for small weddings.

7. Fred W. Symmes Chapel aka “Pretty Place”

Fred W. Symmes Chapel is also known as the Pretty Place, and its first visual will justify the same. It is an open-air chapel in the YMCA Camp Greenville in Cedar Mountain. The Chapel is located on private property and offers some awe-inspiring views of the nearby mountains and plains. Every sight in front brings mountains closer and closer in the most beautiful manner. The location is perfect for prayer and meditation, thanks to its peaceful and serene setting. Since the Chapel faces east, the views of sunrise from here are simply astounding. Fred W. Symmes Chapel mostly hosts private events; therefore, check their schedule to not miss a chance to visit. Not just the Chapel but also the drive up to the place is eye-catching and mesmerizing.

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