Christianity in Omaha, Nebraska

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St. Cecilia Cathedral, which took 54 years, from 1905 to 1959, to be completed and consecrated.

Christianity in Omaha, Nebraska has been integral to the growth and development of the city since its founding in 1854.[1] In addition to providing Christian religious and social leadership, individually and collectively the city's churches have also led a variety of political campaigns throughout the city's history.

History[edit]

The first sermon in Omaha was preached in 1854 by Peter Cooper, an English Methodist who operated a quarry in the city.[2] Almost all of the sixteen attendees lived in neighboring Council Bluffs. Within six months the city had a regular Methodist circuit rider who conducted services at the territorial capitol.

The Omaha Claim Club donated two lots for the congregation to build a church, and soon after Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Episcopalians and Roman Catholics followed. Catholics dedicated St. Philomena's Cathedral in 1856, and the entire Creighton family, including Edward, his wife Mary, and his brother John greatly supported the Catholic Church. Pioneer banker Augustus Kountze called for and financially supported the founding of the first Lutheran church west of the Missouri River, which was then called Immanuel Lutheran Church and was located downtown. It was renamed after Kountze's father in the 1880s.

Episcopalians counted a great deal of political leaders in their ranks through the 1900s.[3] St. John's African Methodist Episcopal Church, organized in 1867, was the first church for African Americans in Nebraska.[4]

Edward and Lizzie Robinson founded the first Church of God in Christ congregation in Nebraska in North Omaha in 1916.[5] The distinguished United Methodist Bishop John Louis Nuelsen was assigned to the Omaha Episcopal Area from 1908 through 1912. The Notre Dame Academy and Convent located in the Florence neighborhood was closely affiliated with the Czech community of Omaha from its founding in the 1920s through its closure in the 1970s.[6]

In 1936 a federally funded survey on religion found that Protestants were the largest religious body in the city, with Lutherans the largest denomination. Roman Catholics from throughout Europe had formed churches throughout South Omaha, including Latvian, Polish, German and Czech congregations.[7] In 1953, Hanscom Park United Methodist Church gained national attention when the pastor formed a psychiatric support group for Methodist ministers.[8] St. Cecilia Cathedral, the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha, is notable for the Spanish Renaissance Revival style design employed during the 54 years it took to build it in the city's Gold Coast Historic District. A 1966 documentary about a church in Omaha called A Time for Burning was nominated for an Academy Award. In 2005 the film was named by the Library of Congress as one of 25 films to be included in the National Film Registry.

Architecture[edit]

Several churches in Omaha feature notable architecture. Eleven of the city's churches have been designed as Omaha Landmarks or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church has been noted as, "architecturally significant to Omaha as a fine example of the Neo-Classical Revival Style of architecture."[9] Holy Family Catholic Church is the oldest existing Catholic Church in Omaha.[10] Zion Baptist Church, an early Black church in the city's Near North Side neighborhood, is housed in a building that was designed by noted master architect Clarence W. Wigington.

Present[edit]

Churches in Omaha have continued to influence the city in a variety of ways. In the 1960s and 70s Holy Family Catholic Church was regarded as a center of progressive activism. David Rice, of the notorious Rice/Poindexter Case, was a guitar player at the church in the early 1970s. Former United Methodist minister and district superintendent Lowen Kruse as a Nebraska state senator since 2001. In 2007 a group of socially conservative churches protested a proposed speech by author Anne Lamott at the Jesuit Catholic Creighton University. This political pressure caused the University to cancel the popular Presbyterian author's appearance. A coalition of progressive Protestant churches re-invited Lamott to the city and she delivered her talk at the Holland Performing Arts Center instead of Creighton. Lamott was so impressed with this action that she waived all speaking fees. Other churches in the city have been active in Nebraskans for Peace and Habitat for Humanity, which was housed at Pearl Memorial United Methodist Church for several years. Kenneth Vavrina, the priest of St. Richard's Catholic Church, has been an outspoken advocate to calm racial tension in Omaha.[11]

Churches in Omaha[edit]

The following is a list of active congregations in Omaha.


Name Address Denomination Neighborhood
Allen Chapel 2842 Monroe Street African Methodist Episcopal
St. John's 2402 North 22nd Street African Methodist Episcopal
Holy Cross 7545 Main Street Anglican
Apostolic Oblates 6762 Western Avenue Apostolic
Bethlehem 6910 Maple Street Apostolic
Grace 2216 Military Ave Apostolic
New Hope 6124 North 99th Street Apostolic
Freedom 4224 N 24th Street Assembly of God
Glad Tidings 7415 Hickory St Assembly of God
Flatland 4801 N 144th St Assembly of God
Hope Community 1430 S 14th St Assembly of God
New Creation Community 4801 N. 144th Street Assembly of God West - Millard
Omaha Christian Center 4215 N 92 Ave Assembly of God
Omaha Korean Assembly 5603 Fay Boulevard Assembly of God
Pacific Springs 17515 Pacific Street Assembly of God
Royal 2864 State St Assembly of God North - Florence
Spirit Life (formerly South Side) 4815 Harrison Street Assembly of God
Templo Canaan Asambleas DeDios 5223 S 20th St Assembly of God
Community 8019 N 31st Street Baptist
Cross Road 6068 Ames Avenue Baptist
Good Shepherd 16909 Pacific Street Baptist
Karen Street 6109 Karen Street Baptist
Marshall Drive 4845 Marshall Drive Baptist
Midwestern 1025 North 72nd Street Baptist
Salem 3131 Lake Street Baptist
Westwood Heights 3343 Pedersen Drive Baptist
Assumption 5434 South 22nd Street Catholic
Assumption of the B.V.M. 2301 South 16th. Street Catholic - Ukrainian
Blessed Sacrament 3020 Curtis Street Catholic
Christ the King 654 South 86th. Street Catholic
College of Saint Mary 1901 South 72nd Street Catholic
Holy Cross 4803 William Street Catholic
Holy Family 1715 Izard Street Catholic
Holy Ghost 5219 South 53rd Street Catholic
Holy Name 3014 North 45th. Street Catholic
Immaculate Conception 2708 South 24th. Street Catholic
Mary Our Queen 3405 South 118th. Street Catholic
Mother of Perpetual Help 5215 Seward Street Catholic
Our Lady of Guadalupe 23rd and O Streets Catholic
Our Lady of Lourdes 2110 South 32nd. Avenue Catholic
Sacred Heart 2218 Binney Street Catholic
Saint Pius the Tenth 6905 Blondo Street Catholic
Saints Peter and Paul 5912 South 36th Street Catholic
St. Adalbert 2617 South 31st Street Catholic
St. Agnes 2215 Q Street Catholic
St. Ann 2247 Poppleton Avenue Catholic
St. Anthony 5402 South 32nd Street Catholic
St. Benedict the Moor 2423 Grant Street Catholic
St. Bernadette 7600 South 42nd Street Catholic
St. Bernard 3601 North 65th Street Catholic
St. Bridget 4112 South 26th Street Catholic
St. Cecilia 701 North 40th Street Catholic
St. Elizabeth Ann 5419 North 114th Street Catholic
St. Frances Cabrini 1335 South 10th Street Catholic
St. Francis Assisi 4513 South 32nd Street Catholic
St. James Catholic Church 9025 Larimore Avenue Catholic
St. Joan of Arc 74th and Vinton Streets Catholic
St. John Vianney 5801 Oak Hills Drive Catholic
St. John's Parish at Creighton University 2500 California Plaza Catholic
St. Joseph 1723 South 17th Street Catholic
St. Leo 1920 North 102nd. Street Catholic
St. Margaret Mary 6116 Dodge Street Catholic
St. Mary 3529 Q Street Catholic
St. Mary Magdalene 109 South 19th Street Catholic
St. Patrick 1404 Castelar Street Catholic
St. Peter 2702 Leavenworth Street Catholic
St. Philip Neri 8202 North 30th. Street Catholic
St. Richard 4320 Fort Street Catholic
St. Robert Bellarmine 11802 Pacific Street Catholic
St. Rose 4102 South 13th Street Catholic
St. Stanislaus 4002 J Street Catholic
St. Stephen the Martyr 16701 S Street Catholic
St. Therese of the Child Jesus 5314 North 14th Avenue Catholic
St. Thomas More 4804 Grover Street Catholic
St. Vincent de Paul 14330 Eagle Run Drive Catholic
St. Wenceslaus 15353 Pacific Street Catholic
Agape 2512 North 72nd Street Christian
Benson 2704 North 58th Street Christian North - Benson
Celebration 14227 U Street Christian
Celebration 7107 South 161st Street Christian
Christian Brotherhood 9809 M Street Christian
Christian Brotherhood 16735 Spring Circle Christian
Christian Discipleship 1823 Lake Street Christian
Christian Missionary Alliance 1301 South 119th Street Christian
City Church 6051 Maple Street Christian
Cleaves Temple 2431 Decatur Street Christian
Covenant 3925 North 95th Street Christian
Faith 2201 South 132nd Street Christian
First 6630 Dodge Street Christian
Florence Alliance 8702 North 30th Street Christian North - Florence
Florence 7300 Northridge Drive Christian North - Florence
Fort Street 5116 Terrace Drive Christian
Freedom 4606 North 56th Street Christian
Heartland Family 3715 North 104th Avenue Christian
Kingsway 1106 South 139th Street Christian
Lake Forest 11268 Lake Forest Drive Christian
Liberty 5616 L Street Christian
Millard 13317 Z Street Christian West - Millard
Millard 13445 Cryer Avenue Christian West - Millard
Northside Family 4102 Florence Boulevard Christian
Omaha Chinese 1920 Robertson Drive Christian
Omaha 4215 North 92nd Avenue Christian
Pilgrim 2818 North 70th Street Christian
Prairie Lane 3111 South 119th Street Christian
Russian 11268 Lake Forest Drive Christian
Shiloh 1501 North 33rd Street Christian
Sonrise 4623 North 54th Circle Christian
South Side 4401 South 23rd Street Christian
St Mary's Orthodox 10303 Boyd Street Christian
Victory 6819 South 167th Street Christian
Vineyard 3534 South 108th Street Christian
Christ Community 404 South 108th Avenue Christian & Missionary Alliance West - Old Mill
Millard Alliance 15405 Adams St Christian & Missionary Alliance West - Millard
Benson 2704 North 58th Street Church of Christ North - Benson
Christ 404 South 108th Avenue Church of Christ
Christ Gospel 4233 South 23rd Street Church of Christ
Christ Is Lord 7119 Irvington Road Church of Christ
Christ Temple 2124 North 26th Street Church of Christ
Christ The King 654 South 86th Street Church of Christ
Christ's Family 5602 L Street Church of Christ
Church Of Christ 5922 Fort Street Church of Christ
Church Of Christ 5118 Hartman Avenue Church of Christ
Church Of Christ (Southwest Omaha) 2600 South 124th Street Church of Christ
Church 4628 Grand Avenue Church of Christ
Faith Temple 3049 Curtis Avenue Church of Christ
Friends Of Christ Evangelical 3208 Corby Street Church of Christ
Jesus Christ 1517 North 30th Street Church of Christ
Nebraska Omaha Mission 11930 Arbor Street# 203 Church of Christ
New Beginnings In Christ 125 North 34th Street Church of Christ
New Life 1712 North 24th Street Church of God in Christ
Sunnyslope 3606 North 108th Street Church of Christ
Tabernacle 1521 North 25th Street Church of Christ
Transport For Christ 9907 Sapp Brothers Drive Church of Christ
Abundant Mercy Pentecostal 910 South 25th Street Church of God
Antioch 3654 Miami Street Church of God in Christ
Cathedral of Love 2816 Ames Avenue Church of God in Christ
Church of God in Christ 2025 North 24th Street Church of God
Church of God in Christ, International 4628 Grand Avenue Church of God in Christ, Intl
Parkway 1212 East Browne Street Church of God
South Omaha 1707 J Street Church of God
State Office 14011 Pierce Street Church of God
Church Of The Living God 2029 Binney Street Church of God
Church Of The Living God 3805 Bedford Avenue Church of God
Faith Temple 3049 Curtis Avenue Church of God
Faith Temple 2108 Emmet Street Church of God in Christ
First 1705 North 96th Street Church of God
Freedom Church Assembly 4430 Florence Blvd Church of God
Gethsemane 5720 North 24th Street Church of God in Christ
God's Missionary Baptist 5036 Terrace Drive Church of God
God's Missionary Baptist 2502 North 51st Street Church of God
Mt Zion 5220 South 31st Street Church of God in Christ
Mt Zion 6617 North 65th Street Church of God
New Bethel 1710 North 25th Street Church of God in Christ
New Life 1712 North 24th Street Church of God
Power House 2553 Browne Street Church of God
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 11027 Martha Street LDS
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 6714 Dodge Street LDS
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 14680 California Street LDS
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 5217 North 54th Street LDS
Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints 3919 North 53rd Street LDS
Winter Quarters Nebraska Temple 8283 North 34th Street LDS
All Saints 9302 Blondo Street Episcopal
Church of the Resurrection 3004 Belvedere Boulevard Episcopal
Holy Family South 138th and Q Streets Episcopal
St Andrews 925 South 84th Street Episcopal
St Barnabas 129 North 40th Street Episcopal
St Luke 600 South 42nd Street Episcopal
St Martin of Tours 2324 J Street Episcopal
Trinity Cathedral 113 North 18th St Episcopal
First Covenant 201 North 90th St Evangelical
Brookside 11607 M Cir Evangelical Free West
Finding Life 13270 Millard Ave Evangelical Free West - Millard
Hope 9313 Binney St Evangelical Free North - Maplewood
Redeemer 13831 Industrial Rd Evangelical Free West - Millard
Jehovah Shammah Baptist 2537 N 62nd St Full Gospel
Lifegate Church 15555 West Dodge Road Interdenominational
Church Of The Nazarene 8206 Blondo Street Nazarene
Southwest Church 14808 Q Street Nazarene
American 4140 North 42nd Street Lutheran
Atonement 4530 North 85th Street Lutheran - LCMS
Augustana 3647 Lafayette Avenue Lutheran
Beautiful Savior 9012 Q Street Lutheran - LCMS
Bethany 5151 North West Radial Highway Lutheran - LCMS
Bethel 1312 South 45th Street Lutheran - ELCA
Calvary 2941 North 80th Street Lutheran
Christian Family 1867 South 147th Circle Lutheran
Cross 2902 South 20th Street Lutheran - LCMS
Deaf Bethlehem 5074 Lake Street Lutheran
Divine Shepherd 15005 Q Street Lutheran - LCMS
First 542 South 31st Street Lutheran - ELCA
Garden-Gethsemane Evangelical 4543 Camden Avenue Lutheran - WELS
Gethsemane 4040 North 108th Street Lutheran - WELS
Good Shepherd 5071 Center Street Lutheran - WELS
Grace 1326 South 26th Street Lutheran - ELCA
Holy Cross 4117 Terrace Drive Lutheran - ELCA
Hope 2721 North 30th Street Lutheran
Immanuel 2725 North 60th Avenue Lutheran - ELCA
King Of Kings 11615 I Street Lutheran - LCMS
Kountze Memorial 2650 Farnam Street Lutheran
Latvian Evangelical 4523 South 22nd Street Lutheran
Living Hope 4823 South 168th Street Lutheran - WELS
Lord Of Love 10405 Fort Plaza Lutheran - ELCA
Luther Memorial 1031 Sunset Trail Lutheran
Lutheran Church Of The Master (east) 2617 South 114th Street Lutheran
Lutheran Church Of The Master (west) 1200 N. 181st Court Lutheran
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries 4205 Boyd Street Lutheran
Lutheran Pantry 4205 Boyd Street Lutheran
Mission Lutherana Cristo Rey 4440 South 25th Street Lutheran
Morning Star 331 South 85th Avenue Lutheran
Mount Calvary 5529 Leavenworth Street Lutheran - LCMS
Mount Olive 7301 North 28th Avenue Lutheran - LCMS
Nebraska Synod-Bishops Office 4980 South 118th Street Lutheran
Northside Community 1511 North 20th Street Lutheran
Our Redeemer 4757 North 24th Street Lutheran
Pacific Hills 1110 South 90th Street Lutheran - LCMS
Peace 4001 Q Street Lutheran
Pella 303 South 41st Street Lutheran - ELCA Midtown
Rejoice 2556 South 138th Street Lutheran - ELCA
Shepherd Of The Hills 6201 North 60th Street Lutheran
St Johns 11120 Calhoun Road Lutheran
St Luke's 2315 I Street Lutheran
St Mark 1821 North 90th Street Lutheran
St Matthew Evangelical 1725 South 60th Street Lutheran - ELCA
St Michael's 13232 Blondo Street Lutheran
St Paul 13271 Millard Avenue Lutheran
St Paul 5020 Grand Avenue Lutheran - LCMS
St Thomas 17007 Q Street Lutheran - ELCA
St Timothy's 510 North 93rd Street Lutheran
Trinity 6340 North 30th Street Lutheran
Zion Peace 4001 Q Street Lutheran - LCMS
Zion West 14205 Ida Street Lutheran - LCMS
Millard Bible Church 14345 Y Street Mennonite
New Hope Mennonite Church Douglas Street Mennonite
Adat Hatikvat Tzion 14808 Q Street Messianic West - Millard
Asbury 5226 N 15th Street Methodist
Clair Memorial 5544 Ames Avenue Methodist
Dietz 1423 S 10th Street Methodist
Faith-Westwood 4814 Oaks Lane Methodist
First 7020 Cass Street Methodist
Free Methodist 9354 Corby Street Methodist
Grace 2418 E Street Methodist
Hanscom Park Frances Street Methodist
Lefler 1501 Madison Street Methodist
Living Faith 15426 W Center Road Methodist
Mapleview Free Methodist 9525 Maple Street Methodist
Maplewood 3535 Maplewood Boulevard Methodist
Olive Crest 7180 N 60th Street Methodist
Pearl Memorial 2319 Ogden Street Methodist
Rockbrook 9855 W Center Road Methodist
St Andrews 15050 W Maple Road Methodist
Trinity 6001 Fontenelle Boulevard Methodist
Union Memorial 2712 R St Methodist
St. Vincent of Lerins 2502 N 51st St Orthodox - Western Rite
St. John the Baptist 602 Park Ave Orthodox
Benson 5612 Corby Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Castelar 2410 South 16th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Central 726 South 55th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Clifton Hill 2301 North 45th Street Presbyterian
Covenant 15002 Blondo Street Presbyterian - EPC
Cross 1517 South 114th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Dominion Covenant 6104 Irvington Road Presbyterian - CPC West - Irvington
Dundee 5312 Underwood Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
Faithful Shepherd 2530 South 165th Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
First 216 South 34th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Florence 8314 North 31st Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Grace Reformed 5151 North 93rd Street Presbyterian - PCA
Harvest Community 4932 Ohio Street Presbyterian - PCA
Hope 5220 South 159th Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
Korean 3734 South 13th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Lowe Avenue 1023 North 40th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Miller Park 3020 Huntington Avenue Presbyterian
Mosher-Pilgrim 4622 Monroe Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Mount View 5308 Hartman Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
New Life 4060 Pratt Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Presbyterian Center 4412 Farnam Street Presbyterian
Presbyterian Church of the Master 2815 North 108th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Underwood Hills 851 North 74th Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
West Hills 3015 South 82nd Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
Westminster 3416 Woolworth Avenue Presbyterian - PCUSA
Wheeler Memorial 4501 South 23rd Street Presbyterian - PCUSA
Word and Spirit Covenant Presbyterian - Indep.
First Unitarian Church of Omaha 3114 Harney Street Unitarian Universalist
Second Unitarian Church Of Omaha 3012 South 119th Street Unitarian Universalist
Christ-Love Unity Church 2903 Ellison Avenue Unity
Unity Church of Omaha 3424 North 90th Street Unity
First Central 421 South 36th Street United Church of Christ Congregational

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Larsen and Cottrell. (1997) The Gate City: A history of Omaha. University of Nebraska Press. p 51.
  2. ^ Larsen and Cotrell. p 51.
  3. ^ Cotrell and Larsen. p 53.
  4. ^ (2003) The Negroes of Nebraska: The Negro goes to church. Memorial Library.
  5. ^ Lizzie Robinson House City of Omaha Landmark Preservation Commission. Retrieved 5/3/07.
  6. ^ Notre Dame Academy 1928–1974. Notre Dame Sisters of Omaha, Nebraska. Retrieved 6/11/07.
  7. ^ Cotrell and Larsen. p 233.
  8. ^ (1953) "Psychiatry for Pastors" Time. 10/26/53. Retrieved 7/11/07.
  9. ^ Calvin Memorial Presbyterian Church (originally North Presbyterian Church). City of Omaha's Landmark Heritage Preservation Commission. Retrieved 5/29/07.
  10. ^ Holy Family Church City of Omaha Landmarks. Retrieved 5/2/07.
  11. ^ McCord, Julia. (2003) "Parish offers Rucker kids free schooling," Omaha World Herald. October 2, 2003.