New book details Omaha's Houses of Worship

Top Quote Local authors depict the religious diversity of Omaha through over 200 vintage images. End Quote
  • Omaha, NE-IA (1888PressRelease) October 27, 2014 - Omaha was settled by a diverse group of people, and has a rich tradition of religious tolerance. Local authors Dr. Eileen Wirth and Carol McCabe will release a new book, Omaha's Historic Houses of Worship, on October 27, 2014 detailing this heritage. The book explores the fascinating story of how Omaha's religious buildings and related landmarks came into being.

    Omaha's Historic Houses of Worship, published by Arcadia Publishing, tells the story of how people lived and how neighborhoods developed through over 200 vintage images. In this book, readers can trace the city's history of immigration, especially in the southern and northern sections of Omaha where the architectural styles of many churches are physical reminders of the people who built them.

    The book opens with a description of Omaha's Mormon heritage and the Winter Quarters settlement then moves into founding of the city's early congregations including First Congregational, St. Mary's Catholic (ancestor of today's St. Cecilia's Cathedral), Trinity Episcopal Church, Emmanuel Lutheran Church (today's Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church), First Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Temple Israel and St. John's A.M.E. Church, among many others. It describes how the first worship services were held at the Territorial Capitol Building and delightful examples of early cooperation like moving an organ weekly between St. Mary's Catholic Church and the temporary location of the Episcopal church. In addition, the book details how settlers of many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds sought freedom from religious persecution in Omaha.

    Highlights of Omaha's Historic Houses of Worship include:
    - The incredible religious and cultural diversity of Omaha.
    - The wonderful art and architecture of St. Cecilia's and Trinity Cathedrals.
    - The spread of non-Western religions to Omaha including Hindu Temples, Islamic Centers, and the Zen Center.

    Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or online.

    Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America's people and places.

    Meet Dr. Eileen Wirth and Carol McCabe

    Author of Omaha's Historic Houses of Worship

    Dr. Eileen Wirth is a professor of journalism at Creighton University. As an Omaha World-Herald reporter, she covered religion and wrote about Omaha neighborhoods and ethnic groups. She is the author of "From Society Page to Front Page" a history of Nebraska's women journalists.

    South Omaha native Carol McCabe has worked in all areas of photography including owning a traditional photo lab, running a photography gallery in Omaha's Old Market district, working in photographic archives, and serving as photo editor for various publications.

    What lasting impact do you hope your book will leave?
    We hope this book will introduce Omahans to their rich religious heritage. We present houses of worship representing most of the world's major faith traditions and show how they took root in Omaha. We show the relationship between ethnicity and our amazingly diverse religious landscape. This helps make us the interesting city we are. We hope the book increases readers' understanding of the personality and heritage of our city and its respect for people of all types.

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