Published March 7, 2010 by LS Murphy

When I was a little girl, I used to force my mother to drive around Keokuk, Iowa so that I could see all of the beautiful churches. You see, we lived in the country and going to Keokuk was going to a “big” town. Now that I live in St. Louis, Keokuk is small in size but it still has some of the most beautiful churches.

In September of last year, my daughter’s daycare closed. It was housed in a tin shed of a building that probably wouldn’t have survived a tornado hit. It was a great daycare though. The workers loved my daughter like she was their own.

Now that tin shed of a daycare is a church.


More and more, churches, whether they are Catholic, Methodist, or Baptists, look more like buildings than churches. To me, a church symbolizes glory. The child inside me knew they were something special. Why aren’t they now?

There is a little white church up the street from my house that epitomizes beauty. It was built in 1859. It’s just one room (not counting the additions that I chose to ignore). There are three eight foot windows from floor to ceiling that are topped with a half circle. Most importantly, there is a steeple. I’m sure there once was a bell but it doesn’t ring. It’s a simple church but it is beautiful in that simplicity.

In Keokuk, among the towering church steeples of glory, the old Wal-Mart where I worked was converted into a church. Yeah, people worship in the lawn and garden section. This is just wrong to me. There are churches in office buildings and strip malls these days. Many of the older churches fall to ruin.  

When did this happen? 

Most of the newer churches look like any other building along the street. The only thing that distinguishes them is the sign. There is no glory in their bland walls and boring siding. There is no beauty in their average windows. There are only four walls. I understand it’s about money. But it’s not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be about your faith, your devotion to God.

The irony in all this, I don’t go to church. I don’t belong to any certain religion. I don’t believe in the excessive division of Christianity. But my belief in God is unwavering.

 “God doesn’t discriminate, religions do.”

No one knows who said this but it’s true. God won’t discriminate about what your church looks like. But wouldn’t you rather honor Him in a house of glory rather than a strip mall where you can walk next door and buy a 40 ounce?

Churches should be spectacular. They should tower to the sky. They should represent the glory and love for God. They should represent what is in your heart when you go. They should represent faith, even to those of us who choose not to go on a regular basis. They should be about love and not money.

Think about it.


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