Religion in Howard County is diverse and flourishing. The faith communities that worship here include Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, Christian Scientist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Mennonite, Baha’i, Quaker and Unitarian Universalist groups. Howard County was home to more than 200 places of worship in 2010, according to census data.
Congregants meet in interfaith centers, churches, synagogues, schools or neighborhood facilities. Many foreign-language congregations also have formed in recent years.
With Columbia’s founding in 1967 came the concept of interfaith centers, allowing city planners to use land and resources more wisely. The interfaith centers in Wilde Lake, Oakland Mills, River Hill, Owen Brown and Kings Contrivance are home to a number of diverse worship communities.
Oakland Mills Interfaith Center — The Meeting House
Owen Brown Interfaith Center
The Gathering Place in River Hill
Wilde Lake Interfaith Center
Kings Contrivance Interfaith Campus:
Orthodox Church of Saint Matthew
For the past 50 years, the Bon Secours Retreat and Conference Center in Marriottsville has offered a place of retreat for groups or individuals interested in spending some quiet time in peace, reflection and prayer. The center, run by the Sisters of Bon Secours, welcomes self-guided retreats but also offers both day- and weekend-long retreats and workshops. It has 70 guest suites, meeting rooms, a chapel and a dining room, and elsewhere on the 300-acre site are a reflecting pond, labyrinth, Zen-style peace garden, outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and bookstore. Call 410-442-3120 or visit rccbonsecours.com for more information.
Catholic Charities of Baltimore
Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church
Dar al-Taqwa Islamic Center
Jewish Federation of Howard County
Salvation Army Howard County Service Center