11/17/2014 01:33 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Most Inspiring Spiritual Sanctuaries of the Hamptons

Text and photography by Lee F. Mindel for Architectural Digest.


Façade of the First Presbyterian Church of Southampton.

The Hamptons are famous for a lot of things, among them beautiful beaches, spectacular mansions, quaint villages, extraordinary gardens and miles and miles of towering hedges. Less celebrated are the area's architecturally unique houses of worship. Serving a mix of longtime residents and vacationers, these sanctuaries offer visual as well as spiritual respite.

The area's most historic congregation, the First Presbyterian Church of Southampton (pictured above), was founded in 1640 by settlers from Lynn, Massachusetts in a community meeting house. Its current home was completed in the American Gothic vocabulary in 1843, and its white-painted exterior and eggshell interior, set off by pews topped with burgundy cushions, offer an elegant reprieve from the hubbub of the town's bustling Main Street. During the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, First Presbyterian and Bethel Presbyterian (Long Island's first African-American Presbyterian church) set an example for the rest of the country by deciding to merge into one congregation.


Exterior of St. Andrew's Dune Church in Southampton, as seen from the Agawam Lake side looking toward the ocean.


Wood-framed interior of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, East Hampton.


The interior of the Jewish Center of the Hamptons is clad in Alaskan cedar.


The brightly colored façade of the First Presbyterian Church of Amagansett.


Fanlight at Most Holy Trinity Parish in East Hampton.

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