A Few Pittsburgh Churches

Welcome to Thursday Doors! This is a weekly challenge for people who love doors and architecture to come together to admire and share their favorite door photos, drawings, or other images or stories from around the world. If you’d like to join us, simply create your own Thursday Doors post each (or any) week and then share a link to your post in the comments below, anytime between 12:01 am Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American eastern time). If you like, you can add our badge to your post.

Note: On Thursday, September 2nd, there will be no Thursday Doors challenge. On Sunday, September 5th, there will be no recap. In the United States, this will be Labor Day Weekend.

As has been the case for the past two week, I am offering mostly drive-by doors. I found these churches as we were getting ready to begin our trip back to Connecticut. I don’t have a lot of information about these churches, but I like the architecture and I like the doors.

One church, the St. Paul AME Zion Church of Coraopolis, was interesting to me. Its construction is non-traditional for a church. As you can see in the photos that it’s the least elaborate of the churches included in the gallery. There is an interesting story about this building, but it proved difficult to verify. One entry in the Historical Society’s data mentions that the pastor of the congregation tore the old structure down and began building the new church himself. Other member pitched in and the church was completed. I don’t know what happened to the bell tower shown in the historic photo.

The First Presbyterian Church of Coraopolis was the second church constructed in the area. It was dedicated in 1890. I found some limited history about this church, but mostly records of the priests that served there.

I hope you enjoy the photos in the gallery.

If you are in a hurry and don’t wish to scroll through the comments, click to Jump to the comment form.


    • Yes, I was going to use that expression in the title, but I thought better of it.

      If you’re not tired of Pittsburgh, I’m not tired of Berwick. You have some nice doors, an amazing window and some great puns!


  1. Nice collection of churches, doors, windows and brick and stonework. That was quite a drive-through you took us on. I like the story about the pastor who rolled up his sleeves and started to rebuild the new church himself! Now that’s perseverance!

    Liked by 2 people

    • From what I gather, there were at least two groups fighting over what to build. He started tearing down the old building after services and started building. I’d love to know the whole story. I could see my dad taking that approach, Ginger.


  2. I checked again to see why your post wasn’t either in my mail or in Reader and saw that I’m not your follower any more!! (Last week I was still one, I checked.) It happened with at least four other blogs.

    I like your churches, the bricks and all. A funny thing happens when I look the photos in the gallery: after the photo No. 16 comes the caption for the photo No. 17 (“Areal image of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church”) but the photo is not displayed.

    My post is from a recent trip with dad to his city of birth which is full of beauty and wonder, this castle is just one of them. I had to make it up for beating him at the tournament. :D


    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re a good daughter. I don’t know what is wrong with that image in the gallery. I guess I’ll add it to the list of WordPress Gallery problems. Most churches in Pittsburgh are brick. I was happy to find the stone one on this trip. Regardless, I like them all.

      Your photos are fantastic (as always). Thanks for finding me and continuing to support this challenge.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha – I had a similar thought. Lois. It probably was a welcome service during the past year. The pastor of the AME Zion church appears to have been putting an end to endless squabbling over what to build. He just built it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s quite interesting about the ST Paul’s bell tower, Dan. Maybe they did replace the roof and a bell tower was considered unnecessary. A lovely selection of pictures. I won’t be joining this week as we are going away this evening so I won’t be around until Tuesday next week.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Dan – lots of history in the historic city … so I guess no wonder there were a few churches and no doubt more in the suburbs. Interesting to see … cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was surprised, Hilary to see so many churches in this area. This is a smallish suburb of the city. People take (or used to take) their religion seriously. As soon as they could support it, they built a church of their own.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful doors, Dan. I like the round arch shapes of St Joseph’s. That seems unusual for a church. The brick details are lovely too. Have a wonderful rest of the week. I hope the weather improves soon. You’re going to need hip-waders to go outside at this rate. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A wonderful collection of churches, Dan. I was a minister’s daughter and spent a great deal of time in churches as a child and young person. When I had reached a level of proficiency in the pianoforte, I played as the choir and attendees sang. Those are wonderful memories for me because is was about communities brought together with music. I miss my father now that he has passed some years ago, but the sound of him singing Amazing Grace is still with me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is my favorite hymn. We were just at a memorial service. It was in a small Methodist church, like I grew up in. It was hot, so the minister said “we’ll sing verses 1,2,3 and 5” – of course I felt cheated.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I tried to answer that question a few years ago, Cheryl. There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer. Some suggest red doors stand for the Blood of Christ. Others suggest that during warfare, red doors signified a place os sanctuary. Many churches throughout history (with red doors of course) are said to have provided medical care to soldiers, regardless of what side they were fighting on. Still others suggest that doors were painted red while the congregation was still paying off construction loans and then painted black once the church had been paid for, Take your pick 😊


      • I think maybe I like Dan Brown’s suggestion as posited by his hero Robert Langdon in The DaVinci code that red symbolized the feminine energy which is why, during the renaissance so many paintings depicted the virgin Mary and Magdalene in red robes, rather than the blue we have come to recognize as familiar. 🤷‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Beautiful photos, Dan. Whenever I travel, I always check out the churches. They all have a story to tell that fascinates me. Have a wonderful weekend. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Gwen. Churches grew as the communities grew. They do have a story. I wish I knew more about the AME Zion church. A friend pointed me to a book that might have more information. I think I’m going to look for it.


  8. Churches have the best doors! These photos are lovely, Dan. The Presbyterian church is beautiful. You did a super job at figuring out the Zion church with old and new photos.


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