The history of our island is mirrored in its old church structures, many of which have recently been restored. The Moravian brethren, arriving here in the 1730s from Saxony in todayís Germany, founded their mission to bring Christianity to the enslaved part of the population. Their handsome yellow buildings at the entrance to Christiansted and red-roofed white wooden church mid-island, along with a contemporary church in Frederiksted, attest to their continued importance.
The historic Anglican (Episcopalian) churches built in Gothic style include St. Johnís in Christiansted, and in Frederiksted the beautifully restored St. Paulís church, which had been damaged by a fire in 1996. These and other Anglican churches bear witness to the large English population which settled here (and also brought us our custom of left lane driving.
The large number of Irish settlers, along with Englishmen and Hispanics, have con- tributed to the presece of the Catholic church; Holy Cross in Christiansted is the oldest in the Virgin Islands; also significant and historic are St. Annís (with an interesting shrine) mid-island, and St. Patrickís in Frederiksted.
The Danish rule of the island from 1733 to 1917 brought the Lutheran church, which still plays a large role here. Lord God of Sabaoth in Christiansted occupies the former Dutch Reformed Church; Holy Trinity in Frederiksted was built shortly after the town was founded.
The Dutch Reformed church (Presbyterian) now has an impressive new mid-island home.
But these are just a few of the many (at last count over 150) churches on St. Croix, from Seventh-Day Adventist to Methodist, Baptist, Church of God, any many more. You will find that church attendance and activities are important to a large part of our population, and visitors are always welcome at services,often a high point in their experience of our island.
Many other faiths offer places of worship: a Jewish synagogue, a Hindu temple, and a Moslem mosque, to name a few.
A helpful guide to places of worship is published by our Interfaith Coalition, a community organization fostering ecumenical cooperation and understanding, as well as offering assistance to elderly shut-ins. Ask for the guide at your hotel, or call 778-2880 for information. Another easy-to-follow guide is actually the yellow pages of our local phone book beginning on Page 75.