Shortly after I moved back to Lake Highlands, my morning walk took me past a rather nondescript building with an unusual sign — the North Texas Hindu Mandir on Baronne Circle.

My curiosity was piqued. I hadn’t thought of a Hindu Temple in Dallas. Soon I learned that many of my neighbors were descended from Hindus who came from India via the West Indies decades ago. Their Pandit (teacher and worship leader) worked as an engineer in a local tech firm, and this mandir, or temple, was their spiritual home.

Eventually I learned that my neighbors included people of many religions, and like the Hindus, they were repurposing churches and shops, or even constructing new buildings, for their worship, education and fellowship.

My next discovery was a Bahai center on Plano Road on the way to my favorite donut shop. The Bahai religion was founded in 19th-century Iran but quickly spread worldwide with its message of the unity of all peoples and religions. Persecuted in Iran, Bahais are now found across the globe and have become a multi-ethnic religion.

Further afield was the Buddhist Temple of Dallas, founded by Thai Buddhists, with its classic Thai-style temple tucked into a leafy neighborhood on Stultz Road. Like most Buddhist organizations in Dallas (and there are many), they offer meditation classes and public celebrations of Buddhist holidays accompanied by cultural shows and food booths.

Not far north on Greenville Avenue in Richardson is the Sikh Gurdwara Singh Sabha serving Sikhs from much of North Dallas and Richardson. The Sikhs came from the Punjab province in India, where their first gurus taught the unity of all religions and the commonality of all monotheistic religious revelation.

Continuing north to Centennial Drive, we find the Islamic Association of North Texas, with its mosque, school and medical clinic. It serves the substantial Muslim population in Lake Highlands, Richardson and much of North Dallas.

Lake Highlands is also home to large numbers of migrants from Cuba, Central America, Brazil and Mexico. We tend to assume those from Latin America are Catholic, yet alongside Roman Catholicism are indigenous expressions of religion that have grown up out of the potent interactions between traditional African religions, indigenous American religions and Christianity.

So sure enough, I found shops acting as religious centers in the Garland Road area for Santaría (primarily from the Caribbean) and Candomblé (primarily from Brazil). These religions center around home worship, but they’re represented by dealers in ritual objects and fortune tellers who are usually ritual leaders as well.

When I was growing up, religion in Lake Highlands meant Christianity, visible from St. Patrick’s Catholic Church at Ferndale and Walnut down to LakeHighlands Presbyterian at Audelia and Northwest Highway. And more than a dozen others around and between.

Now, perhaps less visible but very real, are the old, but new to many of us, religions of those who continue to make Lake Highlands a vibrant neighborhood for all of us.