7 Most Innovative Church Buildings in America

Ministry Today is not an architecture magazine, nor does it pretend to offer expert advice on church construction or design. It is, however, a publication for pastors and church leaders. And what do most pastors become concerned about when their church begins to grow beyond capacity? Buildings, facilities. Land. Expansion. All in the name of reaching people more effectively.

For that reason, we’ve dedicated this issue to highlighting some of the most innovative church buildings in America. Obviously, innovations come in a multitude of forms-especially when dealing with architecture, design and construction. To narrow our search, we honed in on finding those structures that uniquely combined elements image4 of artistry, functionality and worship. We asked a long list of architects, builders, contractors and multifunctional companies to serve as our experts, inviting them to submit recent projects they felt matched the “innovative” tag.

Undoubtedly, there are church buildings that should’ve been included on this list but weren’t for some reason or another. We also realize budgets, congregation size, location and project range all weigh heavily on how creative an architect or builder can be. To that degree, we intentionally included churches that, while smaller in scope, still reflected an underlying theme of building for tomorrow. After all, isn’t that the purpose of every new church building?


A WFX Solomon Award-winner for “Best Digital Church” Northland set a new standard for churches moving into the 2.0 era. Though first-time visitors may be awestruck by the sanctuary’s 20-ton bridge symbolizing the ultimate connection from God to people – Christ’s cross – the wood and metal structure wasn’t the reason for the award. Instead, it’s the facility’s remarkably advanced multimedia, which includes an extensive laptop – accessible lighting network and 436 dimmers in the sanctuary alone. Along with more than 20 audio zones to balance sound quality, state-of-the-art digital equipment allows virtually all of the church’s 80 plus rooms to connect to A/V systems in multiple international locations. Northalnd hopes to soon fill the sanctuary walls with dozens of live video feeds from people across the globe joining in to worship.

After years of planning and designing, New Beginnings Christian Center pastor Brad Makowski dreamed of a church facility that could inherently reach out to the surrounding community through its sheer location and amenities. “We saw the possibility of a great partnership between the business and political community and faith – based image5 groups.” he says. Located in a predominantly industrial neighborhood, the contemporary-looking church is already becoming the meetings grounds for such a juncture. Besides hosting Chamber of Commerce events and community conferences, New Beginnings also houses an independently operated preschool during the week and regularly leases its commercial kitchen to a catering company. The cost-effective design also offers plenty of flexibility for future remodels or expansion. “I believe that God is really going to help us have a very significant impact in this city,” Makowski says