It won’t take a leap of faith to find the right place to worship in Fayetteville. A small step should do. A tradition of faith runs deep in our community. It has survived floods and fire, providing an anchor for families in good times and bad.
The city is home to hundreds of places of worship, some dating back more than 200 years. Whether you’re Protestant, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Baha’i or Unitarian, you can find kindred souls here. Services are conducted in a multitude of languages as well.
The area’s original European settlers, the Highland Scots, brought a strong tradition of Presbyterian faith. Congregations in the area date to the 1750s. The oldest active church in the city, First Presbyterian Church, was chartered in 1800. Services were conducted in both English and Gaelic for years.
Other churches followed, including Cape Fear Baptist, Evans Metropolitan Methodist (later AME Zion) and Hay Street Methodist, all before 1810. St. Patrick Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic parish in the state, was consecrated in 1829. The Great Fire of 1831 destroyed many of the original churches in the city, but most were quickly rebuilt. By the 1850s, Fayetteville was home to at least a dozen Baptist churches. More than 40 churches in the city are over 100 years old.
A religious revival a few miles up the road in Falcon led to the first International Pentecostal Holiness Church in 1911. About the same time, the first synagogue was built in downtown Fayetteville. The city’s first majid, named for African-born Muslim slave Omar Ibn Said, opened in 1987.
As the home of Fort Liberty, Fayetteville has become a center for religious institutions rarely represented in a community our size. They include Hindu Bhavan and Chua Khanh Hy Buddhist Temple. In addition, several churches conduct worship services in Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese and other languages.
Many churches offer the intimacy of a small congregation; others welcome more than 1,000 congregants weekly. Manna Church introduced the concept of tele-worship long before other churches. Its services are shared in branch locations across the country and overseas.
Faith in Fayetteville isn’t just a one-day-a-week thing. Congregations often work together on community projects. They take their faith outside the church walls with year-round programs to help those in need, including the Cumberland Interfaith Hospitality Network and Fayetteville Urban Ministry.
To see a list of area houses of worship, visit cityviewnc.com/destination-fay.