From the beginning, Reno was a crossroads of cultures, and its religious landscape was accordingly diverse. Mainstream denominations with buildings in the original townsite included the Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Catholics. Around the turn of the twentieth century, even more churches and a synagogue were constructed, reflecting Reno’s establishment as a solid little metropolis. The number and diversity of Reno's congregations of faith was often touted as a response to those who characterized Reno as a sinful town in the early 20th century.
As the century progressed, some earlier houses of worship were replaced by permanent structures, many designed by prominent local and even nationally known architects. As in most American cities, following the end of World War II and through the subsequent decades, Reno’s permanent population began to shift toward the ever-expanding suburbs. Following the residents who filled the housing subdivisions were many of the area's churches and schools. And yet, several notable historic churches remain in the downtown area and are included in the Sacred Landmarks tour.