Church Tour - Indianapolis Area

When my daughter was younger and was asking all kinds of questions about what other denominations believed, I got the idea to take a "church tour". What we did was visit various denominations in chronological order of their founding. We did this not to see which one we wanted to join or which one we liked best, but rather simply to understand the transition of denominations. As a matter of fact, some questions that were supposed to be in our minds as we visited these various denominations were:

  1. What makes this denomination distinct from other denominations?
  2. What commonalities does this denomination have with others?
  3. What practices/emphases with this denomination should be part of other denominations?

In this way, it is less about what we "like" and more about understanding why the denomination exists in the first place. Of course, the most important thing is whether the denomination adheres to the Bible or not but if we spent the entire service critiquing this aspect we could miss the point. We certainly spent time as a family afterward analyzing the denomination's doctrines.

Perhaps as you are reading this, you are thinking that the mere fact there are so many denominations points to the sheer failure of Christianity to be a cohesive Faith. Or maybe you are thinking why bother understanding all the different major denominations. Why not just be a "Christian" and go to a non-denominational church.

Well, first God understood there would be denominations or "factions" and that these factions serve a purpose as it says in 1 Corinthians 11:18-19 --

"For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you."

Secondly, there really is no such thing as a "non-denominational" church since every congregation has its specific doctrinal emphasis. Some may emphasize baptism by immersion whereas others may simply sprinkle or pour the water over the initiate. This is just one example of distinctions that may be seen even in so-called non-denominational congregations. In fact, as soon as a group of Christians begin to gather together, there will be distinctions that cause them to want to study and worship together. This will essentially define their "faction".

Any how, some friends and family want to again take a church tour and do so in chronological order. What follows is a list of those congregations we will visit.
I recommend that if you do this tour as a group, you talk about it beforehand. Make it clear that everyone should be respectful and participate as much as possible in the worship styles of the various denominations. For instance, the Roman Catholic (Latin Rite) church requests that all women cover the top of their head with a scarf or doily of some sort per 1 Corinthians 11:5-7. This isn't too much to ask even if you interpret this text differently. I'd also suggest that your group keep the critique to a minimum while in the service, since you may miss out on the experience. But by all means, set aside a time immediately after the service to meet up and discuss what each individual got from the experience.

Denomination Church Name Address Website
Roman Catholic (Latin) St. Joseph's 245 W. Broadway Street Greenwood, IN 46142 (317) 888-2030 http://www.stjchapel.org
Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity 3500 W. 106th Street, Carmel, Indiana 46032, 317-733-3033 http://www.holytrinityindy.org
Coptic Orthodox (Egyptian) St Mary and Saint Mark 800 E 110th St, Indianapolis, IN 46280 http://stmarystmark.com
Lutheran Concordia 305 Howard Rd, Greenwood, IN 46142 (317) 881-4477 http://www.concordia-lcms.com
Baptist (Anabaptist) Indianapolis Baptist Temple 4002 E Southport Road Indianapolis, IN 46237 (317)783-6753 http://www.indianapolisbaptisttemple.com
Anglican (Church of England) Saint Edward The Confessor 6361 N. Keystone Ave Indianapolis, IN 46220 (317) 253-3949 http://st-edward-the-confessor.com
Mennonites First Mennonite Church 4601 Knollton Rd Indianapolis, IN 46228 (317) 251-1980 http://indymenno.org
Presbyterian (Reformed/Calvinists) Second Reformed Presbyterian 4800 North Michigan Road, Indianapolis, IN 46228, (317) 255-7557 http://www.secondrpc.org
Reformed Baptists Edgewood Baptist 3743 Nichol Ave., Anderson, IN 46011 765-644-0994 http://www.edgewoodbaptistchurch.net
Methodists Broad Ripple United Methodist 6185 N. Guilford Ave. Indianapolis, IN 46220 317-251-5049 http://www.broadrippleumc.org
Church of Christ Plainfield CoC 950 East Township Line Road Plainfield, IN 46168 (317) 839-0174 http://www.plainfieldchurchofchrist.org
Disciples of Christ New Palestine Christian 4053 South 650 West, New Palestine IN 46163 - (317) 861-4356 http://www.newpalchristianchurch.com
Seventh Day Adventists Glendale Seventh-day 2900 East 62nd Street Indianapolis, IN 46220 317-253-3711 http://www.glendalesda.org
Assemblies of God Southwood Assembly Of God 8700 S Meridian St Indianapolis, IN 46217 (317) 888-5683 http://www.southwoodassembly.org
Pentecostal/Charismatic Shelby Street Pentecostal 8620 S. Shelby St. Indianapolis, IN 46227 317-882-0061 http://shelbystlighthouse.com
Modern Evangelical Emmanuel Church 1640 W. STONES CROSSING RD. 317-535-9673 http://www.egreenwood.org

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