The neighborhood of the Old Eighth Ward was home to many buildings dedicated to serving the religious needs of different communities. Some of these churches and synagogues initially met in individual houses but had developed into beautiful specially-built buildings by the early twentieth century. The spirit of improvement caused by the City Beautiful Movement, in fact, generated new programs of building just years before the ward’s demolition. This gallery captures images of churches and synagogues from John D. Lemer’s photographs of the ward in 1911-1917. The gallery features images of St. Lawrence German Catholic Church, Kesher Israel Synagogue, Chisuk Emuna Synagogue, Wesley Union AME Churc, and Bethel AME Zion church, among others.

To learn more about religious life in the Old Eighth, visit the Church Communities and Seeking Shalom pages. A full list of churches, synagogues, charitable institutions, and other organization can be found at Stephanie Patterson Gilbert’s Old 8th Ward website.