Midtown: Community

Downtown Raleigh churches throw open their doors for annual tour

Edenton Street United Methodist Church celebrated its 200th anniversary last year by looking forward instead of backward.

As part of the celebration, they asked seven other downtown churches to participate in the first Historic Church Walk. Congregation members and the community were invited to tour the churches to see the architecture and learn the history.

“It was such a cool experience to visit the other downtown churches,” said Laura Cromley, Edenton Street member. “Even as a church goer, I had not visited the other churches downtown and thought I couldn’t just go into someone else’s church. We really wanted to change that image with the church walk.”

The event was such a success that organizers decided to make it an annual event. They formed the Downtown Church Alliance to combine their efforts; Cromley serves as chairwoman.

Representatives from Edenton Street United Methodist Church; First Baptist Church, Salisbury Street; First Baptist Church, Wilmington Street; First Presbyterian Church; Christ Church; St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church; Church of the Good Shepherd; and Sacred Heart Cathedral meet monthly to share ideas and work together.

“We have so many common missions and we were doubling events, so we decided that we could pool our resources to better help the community,” Cromley said. “We actually have so much in common with each other, and we want to show the community that we are united.”

The second annual Historic Church Walk will be held from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 6, in downtown Raleigh. The free tour is self-guided; participants can print a map from www.downtownraleighchurches.org or pick one up at any of the churches. Volunteers in each church will share its history and answer questions.

“Even someone not interested in religion is welcome to come check out architecture and the art in the churches. They are great examples of each style throughout history,” Cromley said. “Our goal is to invite people into our churches and not to preach to them during the walk.”

Yavneh services

Yavneh: A Jewish Renewal Community invites the community to its Sabbath & Sukkot observance at 7:45 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, and the Simchat Torah celebration at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Yavneh cantor Karen Kumin and the Freylach Time Klezmer band will perform as the community marks the end of one year’s Torah reading cycle and the beginning of the next. Both events will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1725 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh. For more information, visit yavneh-raleigh.org.

St. Raphael Oktoberfest

St. Raphael Catholic Church will celebrate Oktoberfest from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, and from 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the church, 5801 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. Tickets are $3 and German food, desserts and beer will be available to purchase. Entertainment will be provided by Little German Band and Dancers and the St. Raphael Knights of Columbus. For more information, call 919-865-5700 or visit www.saintraphael.org.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Blessing of the Animals

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church will hold its annual Blessing of the Animals service at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct.6, in the courtyard between the three buildings at the church, 1725 N. New Hope Road, Raleigh. All dogs must be on leashes, cats in carriers, hamsters in their transportable carriers and horses on leads. The church’s Girl Scout troop will also hold a yard sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. For more information, call 919-231-6767 or visit www.stmarks-ral.org.

Windborne UMC Blessing of the Animals

Bring all living creatures, including dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and fish, to Windborne UMC’s Blessing of the Animals at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at the church, 9121 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. All pets must be on a leash or in a carrier. You are also invited to bring pictures of deceased pets or endangered species in the wild. The service will focus on the bond people have with their animals and making animals an integral part of worship and relationships. For more information, call 919-386-0212 or visit www.windborneumc.org.

Auction, corn hole tournament

Faith Harvest Church is having a yard sale, auction and corn hole tournament Saturday, Oct. 6, at the church, 4737 Willeva Drive, Wake Forest. The yard sale starts at 7:30 a.m., the auction at 11 a.m. and the corn hole tournament at 1 p.m. Registration for the tournament is $20 per team. For information or to register, call 919-848-4340 or email info@faith-harvest.org.

Falls Baptist fall festival

Falls Baptist Church is holding its fall festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at the church, 9700 Fonville Road, Wake Forest. The festival will include games, bounce houses and face painting. Food will be available, including hot dogs, candy apples, cotton candy and beverages. For more information, visit www.fallsbaptist.com or call 919-847-0870.

Photo exhibit of marquees

A photography exhibition of church marquees from the rural South will be on display from Sunday, Oct. 7, through Sunday, Oct. 28, at Hillyer Memorial Christian, 718 Hillsborough St., Raleigh. The free exhibit, “To God Be the Glory,” will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Adam Trevillian, a recent graduate of Savannah School of Arts and Design, took the photographs for his senior project, spending several months traveling through Southern states. For more information, visit www.hillyerchurch.org or call 919-832-7712.

Millbrook Baptist volunteer fair

Millbrook Baptist Church is holding its Do Good Gallery from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, at the church, 1519 E. Millbrook Road, Raleigh. A variety of nonprofits will attend, so community and church members can connect with volunteer opportunities. For more information, call 919-876-1519 or visit www.millbrookbaptistchurch.org.

German Youth Big Band & Choir

Youth Big Band from the Altes Gymnasium in Flensburg, Germany, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 7000 Creedmoor Road, Raleigh. The band perfo5rms both traditional and modern jazz and has won numerous awards, including Best School Big Band in Germany. For more information, email Clifford Badgley at clifford.badgley@gslchurch.org or at 919-848-1573.

Harp concert

Domenique Tanzini, a local harpist, will perform as part of a concert series at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at St. Raphael Catholic Church, 5801 Falls of Neuse Road. Tanzini is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory and has performed with major ensembles of Peabody Conservatory, East Carolina University Symphony Orchestra and numerous churches throughout the region. Admission is free; donations will be accepted to support future concerts. For more information, contact Brad Croushorn, director of music ministry, at 919-865-5716 or bcroushorn@saintraphael.org.

Chris August concert

Tickets are now on sale for the Chris August concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Faith Harvest Church, 4737 Willeva Drive, Wake Forest. August is a Christian singer-songwriter and a self-taught pianist and keyboardist. Tickets are $15 for the family-friendly concert and are available at www.faith-harvest.org or 919-848-4340.

New pastor at St. Andrews Presbyterian

Rev. Dr. Tom Harris was recently named the pastor of Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. Harris has served at First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach, Fla., as associate pastor for the past 10 years. Nominating committee members said they selected Harris because of his strong faith, unbridled energy and charismatic personality. For more information about the church, visit www.sapc.com or call 919-847-1913.

Do you have some faith news to share? Send it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at nrnews@newsobserver.com.