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U.S. Statehood Church, 1912-1945

An early Albuquerque Journal editorial declared that Albuquerque is a "city of churches, with edifices dedicated to the service of almost every denomination or creed known to man."

In 1903 and 1904 floods destroyed the Nativity of Our Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Alameda, along with the village itself. The village and church, which began around 1710, were relocated east to higher ground near what is now Fourth Street. Some of the beams from the original church and plaza have been incorporated into the present-day church.

The Central United Methodist Church completed a handsome structure at Arno and Central in 1912.

San Ignacio Catholic Church in Martineztown was founded in 1915. Each year on July 31 it holds a fiesta and a procession.

In 1916 a mission church was built in the San Jose neighborhood on land donated by Teodoro Lopez. It burned in 1940 but was rebuilt a year later as the Sacred Heart Mission. It became a parish in 1947 and added a school and convent in 1958. The school closed in 1970.

In 1921 St. John’s Episcopal Church, downtown at Fourth and Silver, gained pre-cathedral status and ten years later became the Cathedral Church of the Missionary District of New Mexico and Southwest Texas.

On October 23, 1926, First Baptist Church broke ground at its current location. The congregation moved into the basement of the present facility, where services were held while the church was being built above. The building was occupied in 1937. The Albuquerque Journal described the 300-person structure as the "most modern church building in the territory."

Also in 1926, San Jose Parish was founded to serve the neighborhoods of San Jose and South Broadway. Thirty years later the church survived a fire. Today it serves about 1,400 families.


In 1933, in spite of the Depression, members of the First United Methodist Episcopal Church raised money and built a parish hall west of their church. In 1939 Methodist churches united, and the church was called the First United Methodist Church. In the 1940s the church acquired more property until it owned the block south of Lead between 3rd and 4th Streets.

By the 1940s, Albuquerque had 42 churches. A postcard from the period says the churches “indicate clearly the solid foundation upon which the life of the city rests.”

In 1943 Bowman Chapel in Old Town became Iglesia Metodista Episcopal Church and then El Buen Samaritano United Methodist Church.

St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, on High St. near Downtown, was built in 1944 to serve Greek immigrants who had been arriving in the city since 1915. The church rested on the former site of banker Joshua Raynolds’ mansion. The cast-stone wall around the church is the only remnant of the mansion.

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