Did you know that Auburn and its close neighbor Opelika were founded in 1839 and 1854, respectively? Throughout both towns, you can find many beautiful houses of worship—so we decided to visit several historic churches to learn more.
1. First Presbyterian Church Opelika
- Denomination: Presbyterian
- Founded: 1866
- Address: 900 2nd Avenue, Opelika AL 36801
Although the First Presbyterian Church of Opelika was formally organized in 1866, it was not until 1871 that the congregation had a permanent home. Their first church was a small wooden building on a 100-by-200-foot lot in the heart of downtown Opelika, but replaced by the current building in the late 1800s. And in 1912, the entire building was lifted up and rotated 90 degrees to face 2nd Avenue!
2. The Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church
- Denomination: Baptist
- Founded: 1870
- Address: 450 East Thach Avenue, Auburn, AL 36830
Located on East Thach Avenue, Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church is one of Auburn’s most iconic historic churches. Constructed in 1870, the building was the first African-American church built in Auburn after the Civil War. After the congregation moved to a new building in 1969, the building was restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places and currently houses the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Church.
3. St Dunstan’s Episcopal Church
- Denomination: Episcopal
- Founded: 1886
- Address: 136 East Magnolia Avenue, Auburn AL 36830
This historic church is right in the middle of downtown Auburn and is a beautiful building to walk past, with its unique architectural style. St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church began construction in 1886, right on Easter Day. It was awarded an honor by the Auburn Preservation League in 2019 for its historical significance.
4. First Baptist Church Opelika
- Denomination: Baptist
- Founded: 1859
- Address: 301 South 8th Street, Opelika AL 36801
First Baptist Church Opelika (FBO) was created in 1859 in this very spot, but the church wasn’t actually built until 1861. It unfortunately burned down in a fire and was completely rebuilt in 1885. Many new buildings were added over the years and renovations were made to make it what it is today. FBO lays right in the heart of the beautiful Historic District of Downtown Opelika.
5. Auburn University Chapel
- Denomination: Originally Presbyterian, now nondenominational
- Founded: 1851
- Address: University Chapel, Auburn AL 36830
The University Chapel is one of the oldest original buildings in Auburn, as it was built in 1851. It served as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War and also as a temporary school building in later years. It was added into the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and can now be used by reservation.
6. Auburn United Methodist Church
- Denomination: Methodist
- Founded: 1837
- Address: 137 South Gay Street, Auburn AL 36830
The Auburn United Methodist Church was the first ever church and school building in Auburn. It has a rich history in Auburn, starting with its organization in 1837 and the Founder’s Chapel which was built in 1850. The East Alabama Male College started in this building, which eventually turned into what is Auburn University today!