Codifying the term "sacred places" helps us to embrace a concept that America, including Texas, is relatively unfamiliar with simply because we are much younger than our European neighbors. Across the ocean, centers of spiritual and ideological importance from Notre Dame to Stonehenge predate those in America, often by centuries. But as archeological finds of pre-history Texans are interpreted, neighborhoods change in our urban areas, as populations fluctuate in our rural communities, and as congregations find a need to expand their facilities, we have begun to realize the historical and cultural importance of the places and structures we outgrow or that have been forgotten. These places are imbued with our spirit, making their survival a complex but important factor when formulating a community's legacy. Redefining our historic religious centers as sacred places helps to avoid denominational challenges, emphasizes their historical significance, provides an opportunity to broaden their function on behalf of the entire community, and encourages preservation. Take a look around your neighborhood. Where is your own special sacred place? Your childhood church down the street? Or is it someplace else, perhaps beneath a favorite old shade tree in the park? Share your sacred place with someone you know and help to keep it a vital part of the social fabric of your community.
Select a theme below to find a map and list of related historic sites to help you explore this theme further.