More than a dozen historic houses of worship will open up their doors on Thursday, July 4th for the First Freedom Open House.

During the open house, participants will be able to learn how the building or congregation symbolize Newport’s commitment to freedom of religion and religious diversity.

Channing Memorial Unitarian Church
135 Pelham Street
www.channingchurch.org
Open 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Building honors William Ellery Channing and features stained glass by John LaFarge and others

First Presbyterian Church
4 Everett St. (Corner of Everett & Broadway)
www.fpcnewport.org
Open 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
RI’s oldest Presbyterian church has 60 magnificent stained glass windows in a beautiful stone structure

Great Friends Meeting House
21 Farewell St.
www.newporthistory.org
Open 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
The oldest standing house of worship in Rhode Island, built in 1699

Mount Zion AME Church
101 Van Zandt Ave. (Corner of Tilley & Van Zandt)
Open 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
The oldest African American church in Newport with a specific denominational affiliation.

Newport Congregational Church
73 Pelham St.
www.lafargerestorationfund.org
Open 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
Built in 1857 and featuring artwork by renowned painter/stained glass artist John LaFarge

St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church 
61 Washington St.
www.saintjohns-newport.org
Open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Beautiful stained glass windows adorn an impressive stone church founded by people of modest means

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
5 Mann Ave. (Corner of Broadway & Mann)
www.stjosephsnewport.org
Open 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Newport’s second Catholic parish moved to this stunning building on Broadway in 1912

St. Paul’s United Methodist Church
12 Marlborough St.
www.stpaulsumcnewportri.com
Open 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm
Believed to be the first Methodist church in the world with a steeple and a bell

Seventh Day Baptist Meeting House
82 Touro St. (enter on Barney St.)
www.newporthistory.org
Open 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
One of the first 7th Day Baptist meeting houses in America, built in 1730

Touro Synagogue
72 Touro St. (enter 52 Spring St.)
www.tourosynagogue.org
Open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Oldest synagogue in America; designed by Peter Harrison, America’s first great architect

Trinity Episcopal Church
141 Spring St.
www.trinitynewport.org
Open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Oldest Episcopal parish in Rhode Island; current church built in 1726 by master builder Richard Munday

United Baptist Church
30 Spring St.
www.unitedbaptistnewport.com 
Open 10:00 am to 12:00 noon
The original settlers of Aquidneck Island established a church under the leadership of John Clarke.

Some of the historic buildings near Washington Square will be open during Newport’s annual 4th of July community celebration, while others will open or remain open after the community events end at noon.

The annual 4th on the Square includes music, activities, the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence from the place it was read in July of 1776, and a 21-gun cannon salute by the Newport Artillery Company using four Paul Revere cannon

The event is sponsored by “Four Faiths, Four Landmarks,” an organization that offers a seasonal walking tour of four historic houses of worship, and is made possible by generous support from Discover Newport as well as the participating houses of worship.

For more information, visit http://www.4faiths.org/first-freedom-open-house/.

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.