With a long history of championing the rights of people of color, women and the LGBTQ+ community, Coral Gables Congregational Church is a historic Miami landmark that’s become a symbol of progress and positive change over the decades. Founded in 1923, the church itself is the oldest established building in Corals Gables, and has the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Decorated in the ornate Spanish Colonial Revival style, the entire building offers the perfect blend of old-world charm and sophisticated elegance that makes it the perfect setting for a range of special events including the enchanting Candlelight concert series.
Located just a short walk from the popular Biltmore Tennis Center and the University of Miami, Coral Gables Congregational Church is surrounded by multiple notable landmarks in the Coral Gables area. Visitors can get to the church via the 24 bus that stops off at SW 24 St & Columbus Blvd, and it’s also just a 15-minute drive from downtown Miami.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Coral Gables Congregational Church
1. A church of many firsts
The church hosts the denomination of United Church of Christ, a congregation who prides itself on inclusivity, so it’s no surprise that this place has a long history of advocating for the rights of minorities and disadvantaged communities. They were the first mainline church to oppose slavery in 1700, the first to ordain a woman in 1853 and the first to ordain openly gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the early 1970s.
2. The architecture is something to write home about
Inspired by Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, the church’s exterior certainly makes an impression. The yellow building with its towering bell tower has become somewhat of an iconic architectural landmark in the area, and the interior is just as impressive. On entering the church, the detailed façade, opulent chandeliers and traditional sanctuary dazzle visitors and provide a welcoming environment that’s very easy on the eye.
3. Built as a fitting tribute
In 1923, the church was founded by George Merrick – a local real estate developer largely responsible for the construction of the Coral Gables area. The businessman built the church in honor of his late father who was a Congregational Minister of the city. Nowadays, the building is a place of sanctuary for the thousands of people who come to worship at the church every year.
Candlelight concerts at Coral Gables Congregational Church
This season, thousands of flickering candles will be illuminating the Coral Gables Congregational Church to set the scene for these magical musical tributes. From contemporary icons like Adele, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran to legendary bands including Coldplay, Linkin Park and Fleetwood Mac, these mesmerizing concerts pay tribute to some of music’s biggest stars. As talented musicians perform spellbinding renditions of your favorite songs, prepare to be enveloped by music and light at these unforgettable musical experiences.
What else can you do at Coral Gables Congregational Church?
First and foremost, Coral Gables Congregational Church is a stunning place of worship frequented by hundreds of locals every week. Aside from hosting weekly religious sermons, the church runs an outstanding music and arts program centered around nurturing the talents of kids and younger adults. Youngsters can sing, dance, act and more at these weekly workshops that aim to encourage kids to get out of their comfort zone, make friends and have fun while doing it.
The magic of Candlelight has lit up some of Miami’s most magnificent venues and continues to illuminate the stunning Coral Gables Congregational Church. Prepare to be enchanted by the mesmerizing glow of candlelight and fall in love with stunning renditions of your favorite songs inside one of Miami’s most culturally and historically significant landmarks.