MILWAUKEE - It was a momentous day for an iconic Milwaukee church. On Sunday, June 13, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church held its first service inside of the building since it went up in flames in 2018.
This milestone marked progress but also a reunion as three separate services were joined into one.
One by one, members entered the new chapel inside the undercroft of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, stepping foot back in the building for the first time in three years.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran
"This is a profound day for our church," Reverend M. Douglas Peters said. "A lot of effort has been made to get this completed."
Restoration efforts have been underway ever since a fire tore through the building on May 15, 2018. The building built in 1878 was destroyed, but Rev. Peters said from the devastation came renewal as the congregation committed themselves to restoring Trinity as both a beacon of light and of faith.
Fire at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee - May 2018
"It’s our people that want to be together because they understand that they are the body of Christ, and the body of Christ needs to be together. That’s why it’s so important we continue to have those services," said Rev. Peters.
Over the years, separate services were held in various locations; most recently in the office hallway, but Sunday, they finally gathered in a place that holds such meaning.
Rev. M. Douglas Peters
"On the altar, on the lectern and on the floor," Rev. Peters said. "The beams from the structure on the roof is now the new floor in the chancel area. The wood from the pews now make up all the detail on the altar, so there was a lot of thought going in behind this."
The theme of Sunday's service was "welcome home."
"Happiness. I feel joy," Rev. Peters said.
The hope is for the congregation to be back upstairs in the main church within a year to 18 months, but there's still lots of work to be done on the restoration project. If you’re looking to contribute to the fundraiser CLICK HERE.