Keep Houston Press Free

The 6 Ugliest Rich Churches in Houston

We do love our churchin' here in Houston. And our donatin', which allows churches to build massive, eye-catching temples.

And some of them turn out very ugly.

We're not talking about churches who don't have much money -- or who choose to spend what money they have on something other than architecture. We don't mean strip-mall storefronts or renovated old theaters.

No, we mean churches with congregations who have money to burn and have burned it unwisely.

Six of the worst in Houston. (Note: These involve only exterior views, so as to limit any chances of actual church attendance.):

5. Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Oh, Catholic Diocese of Galveston-Houston: You used to have a perfectly charming church:

Yeah, it was small, but it's not like church attendance in downtown Houston was threatening to overwhelm it.

At any rate, somehow you found the $49 million to build a new facility. And you got this modern bunker, hunkered down against the mean streets of downtown, about as welcoming as the county jail. At least you gave us Steroid Jesus in the limited amount of stained glass provided.

5. Grace Community Church Also known as The World's Biggest Walgreeen's. Drive-thru's around the back.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

4. La Luz del Mundo Words fail. Even Spanish words.

3. St. Martin's Big ups for going with a classical design on the new building, but there is such a thing as too much. Take the "ye olde church" thing down a notch or two, and you're golden. As it stands now, you just look like the `60s suburban mom who decided to do the den in colonial style so you have a plaid sofa with pseudo-Williamsburg armrests. And plastic surrounding the cushions, of course.

2. Lakewood Church You could say a lot about the old Summit/Compaq Center, but "warmly welcoming" was not among the descriptions. A solid block accessed mainly by underground parking garages, the old facility was absolutely nothing to look at from the outside. So why not make it into a church? We're sure it's very efficient at removing money from members' wallets.

1. First Baptist Talk about bunkers. The First Baptist is squirreled away at an odd location, I-10 and the Loop. If you drive by it, it looks like nothing more than another office-park building, housing a company that's somehow very, very concerned about a nuclear apocalypse. Its forbidding style must say "church" in some language, but we're not sure we want to learn it.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.