A Landmark of Faith

Our History

With its soaring steeples, ornate interior, and grand bell tower, Trinity is more than just a landmark in the city, but a worthy and faithful place for God’s people to gather and worship. From supporting Lutheran education to helping plant daughter congregations in the area, Trinity’s history is rich with the work of faithful, dedicated members who desire to receive and share God’s Word in this community and beyond.

In May 2018, a massive four-alarm fire devastated Trinity’s roof, lower steeple, and much of the interior sanctuary, including the historic organ and hand-carved woodwork. Despite this devastating loss, God’s people at Trinity were determined to restore the building as a testament to the church’s dedication to the bold proclamation of the Gospel. While the restoration of the church began just weeks after the fire, your generous gift is needed to complete the restoration. The faithful gifts given to Trinity will help ensure that the beauty and artisanship that point to the proclamation of the Gospel in downtown Milwaukee will continue.

Our Background

Trinity was founded by immigrants from Pomerania, Germany in 1847 and was the first Lutheran congregation to join the Missouri Synod in the state of Wisconsin. 

Trinity has occupied several sites in the Milwaukee area.  The first was on 4th Street between Wells and Kilbourn — from 1847 through 1851.  Trinity’s next location was on 4th and Wells from 1851 through 1878.  Trinity’s current location, known as Terrace Garden, was constructed in 1878.  The building was designed by Fredrick Velguth in Victorian Gothic style.  The total cost (in 1878 dollars) was $43,500 ($40,000 for the church, $3,500 for the organ) which was paid in full by the completion of construction.  The building is built out of cream city brick and rests on a limestone foundation.  The Church is built in the shape of a cross, 145 feet long, 89 feet wide and 54 feet high.  There are three towers with spires, the largest of which is the north tower at 200 feet tall.  This tower is topped by a golden sphere with a cross measuring 14 1/2 feet tall.  The bell tower has 3 real bells (keyed in “D”, ‘F#’ and ‘A’) with a combined weight of 5263 lbs.  These bells still ring today at the start of each service. 

All interior woodwork was hand carved from Wisconsin Oak and Ash.  The pulpit, a creation of Gothic art in wood, is shaped like a communion chalice and topped by a shell-like canopy.  Stained glass windows behind the alter feature the Gospel writers.  Above the altar is a roundel of Jesus and the children.  Paintings in the altar, created by Fredrich Wehle, present two different themes one beginning in Advent and one in Lent.   The original church lighting consisted of two gas-list chandeliers – one with 72 burners and the other with 48.  The current Belgium wrought iron chandeliers with electric lights were installed in 1942.  The building was declared a Milwaukee landmark in 1967, a State Historical Landmark in 1979 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.  Please see the photos below. 

Please join us in the completion of Trinity’s restoration

Your gifts will directly help us put the finishing touches on this faithful landmark, this church on a hill that ever serves as a visible reminder of Christ’s presence, Christ’s love, in downtown Milwaukee. Your gift, whether large or small, can be directed to a specific fund of the restoration (i.e. the Pipe Organ, Steeple, Stained Glass) or simply to the Fire Restoration Fund. We invite you to be part of this historic and memorable project, trusting that your gift will be a blessing to all who visit Trinity. 

Ways to give:

By Mail:

1026 N. 9th. St.
Milwaukee, WI 53233


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