The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Bell tolls for steeples

Nationwide, steeples are taking a beating, and the bell tolls for bell towers, too, as these landmarks of faith are hit by economic, social and religious change.

Steeples are weather-struck and maintenance-deprived.

Architects and church planners say today's new congregations meet in modern buildings designed to appeal to contemporary believers.

And steeples may have outlived their time as signposts. People hunting for a church don't scan the horizon — they search the Internet.

A Baptist church in the Washington, D.C., suburbs got an aluminum steeple and $25,000 annually by allowing a cell tower to masquerade as its steeple.


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February issue


Embracing diversity