Cathedral of Hope, with its Full Orchestra, May Have the Best Church Music in DFW

Categories: DC9 at Night

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In 1970, twelve Christians gathered at a Dallas home to form a new church. Forty-three years later, that church, now known as the Cathedral of Hope, has about 4,400 members and around a thousand weekly attendees. The church, with about 85-90 percent of its congregation being part of the LGBTQ community, is the country's largest LGBTQ-inclusive church.

The 11 a.m. on July 21, the service, like all their Sunday services, featured a full orchestra, which, other than the three full-time paid staff members, consists of all volunteers. The choir, mostly middle-aged and older, was wearing white and red robes. While he plays a huge role in planning, David Moldenhauer, CoH's director of music and worship, blended in with the rest of the orchestra as he played the organ. Moldenhauer, the son of a Lutheran pastor, has training in singing, the organ and the piano. His background and his love for music led him to his current position, after he joined the church in 2001.

See also:
-Behind the Band Playing for Thousands of People at Highland Park United Methodist Church
-How Cynthia Fruth Became One of the Few Female Music Directors in The Catholic Church
-Inside the Massive Musical Operation of Fellowship Church

The Cathedral of Hope does offer more contemporary and informal services on Wednesday nights, but the traditional Sunday services draw a much larger audience.

After the 11 a.m. service, we talked with CoH member and Oak Cliff resident Gary Roberts. He has attended the Cathedral of Hope since Easter of 1990, when he heard a sermon by Rev. Michael Piazza. (Piazza, as Senior Pastor for nearly twenty years, oversaw the largest growth in the church's history.) Roberts grew up attending a fundamentalist church in Fort Worth. While it was "a slow and difficult change" from his conservative Christian upbringing to his current liberal Christian beliefs, he loves everything about the church. When he joined the church, the music program wasn't much of a factor for him because it wasn't nearly as large and impressive as it is today. For Roberts, the music is just "icing on the cake."

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Dallas is home to one of the richest religious music scenes in the country. Over the summer, we'll be attending services, both big and small, of many denominations, as well talking to musicians , directors and pastors.

Location Info

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Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ

5910 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, TX

Category: General


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7 comments
elizabethramon
elizabethramon

I use to go to COH years ago and enjoyed the service, the music and the congregation.  It does make me sad what Amanda Hebert said about a new visitor not being welcomed with opened arms, or not even being recognized, which I can understand this it being such a huge church. Maybe in the future this can be corrected so there will not be other new comers that will feel the same as Ms Hebert. God bless this church and continue blessing the people that are reaching out to all people that need to feel God's  love and that attend this wonderful for the soul church!

lcolyar
lcolyar

It is a great honor for me to be a member of this orchestra. Our leadership team of David and Sean work hard to make us better musicians and produce fine music.

Amanda Hebert
Amanda Hebert like.author.displayName 1 Like

I wanted to love this church when i moved here, heard such good things. after all, a place of worship filled with "family" sounds like an amazing idea in theory doesn't it ? The church is so large that new faces go unseen. so it feels very unwelcoming if your going alone, and do no know anyone, and tend to be some what shy like i am. not one person welcomed me, told me hello, or even looked in my direction really. I never thought a building full of family could actually feel so cold. and after speaking with MANY other lesbians in the community, so many people had this exact same experience. nothing warm and welcoming about this church at all, and honestly i care more about that then "good music"

Kirk Conway
Kirk Conway like.author.displayName 1 Like

This is an amazing Church! However, there are those who would say that a Church that has such a concentration of GLBT members, can't be a Christian church. My thought on that is this...if you are divorced, have friends who are, or attend a Church where divorcees do...then you really don't have much room to 'judge' other Christians! I'm Gay, I love God, and he loves me. End of story....and, no, I don't need, nor want, your approval; just like you don't need or want mine. :)

we_are_loved_by_God
we_are_loved_by_God

@Kirk Conway ....Amen Kirk....you are absolutely correct on all of this....

Steve Nobles
Steve Nobles

Yep, and that's one of the reasons I always want to go there when I'm in town.

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