Historic Trinity Lutheran Church, Milwaukee

Statement regarding the stability of the existing structure of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Milwaukee

Posted June 5, 2018

On Tuesday May 15, 2018 the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church building, located at 1046 North 9th St., in downtown Milwaukee, caught fire and burned. Many watched as the roof collapsed and flames licked the window sills and gables while the Milwaukee Fire Department worked hard to extinguish the flames.

On the morning of Wednesday May 16, 2018 some of our parish leaders were able to tour the sanctuary and identify items for salvage. A great deal of damage was done to the historic interior and the members of Trinity were heartbroken, but not without hope.

In Jeremiah 29:56 we find a great deal of comfort as God our Father promises those in exile they will have a future by telling them to, “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce.Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.” What a marvelous anticipation of the New Testament Gospel we find in these sentences as a future hope and promise is ensured.

We were recipients of God’s provision, yet again, when Pierce Engineers Inc. (PE), visited our facility on May 30 to inspect the existing structure and determine the condition of the existing masonry walls. We met with our engineers on Friday June 1, and learned the existing walls and gables, upon providing temporary shoring/bracing, are stable and appear to be in satisfactory condition for reconstruction without needing any demolition.

We have retained Triad Construction, INC. to stabilize the walls and put a roof on the building so salvage of the sanctuary interior can begin. Our intent is to rebuild so that the Gospel of Christ crucified for the sin of mankind can continue to be proclaimed for many generations to come.

We are thankful for the provision of God, our Father, as we continue to gather as a faithful community of believers to receive the promise of forgiveness, grace, mercy and peace. We gather to hear the very words of Jesus Christ when He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:2830). We gather and know the peace only Christ can give and are joyful.

We are thankful for the Milwaukee community as you have been generous, gracious, loving and kind. We are thankful to the administration of MATC who have provided us with a temporary place to worship while we seek a more ‘temporary permanent’ location. We are thankful for the different churches who have offered us a place of refuge while we rebuild. We are thankful for the kind words and letters we have received from people all over the world.

To God be the glory!

On behalf of Trinity, questions may be directed to the Reverend Jonah P. Burakowski at 414.617.0792 or at jburakowski@swd.lcms.org


Posted May 18, 2018

A statement from the Church Council of Trinity Lutheran Church, Milwaukee

First, we would like to express our thanks and praise to God our Almighty Father, maker of Heaven and earth, for His provision and care.  He made our church possible by bringing together people to receive His forgiveness and grace through His Word and Sacraments.  For 140 years people have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached reminding generations that Christ died for our sins and that “He is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).  We are grateful and we, “Give thanks to the Lord; for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 118:1).

A lot has transpired since our church burned on Tuesday, May 15.  Many have offered their kind words of encouragement; Milwaukee churches of different denominations have offered their space for worship, and we have received many calls offering help and assistance.  We have experienced mercy and grace and we quickly learned of the love of our city.

God has, and continues to richly provide as evidenced by the building He provided and the fact no one was hurt on Tuesday.  We know it will be awhile before we can return to worship on the corner of 9th and Highland – but we are confident we will return.

Until then, we will need to find a place to continue to gather to hear His Word and receive His Sacraments.  We are working with our District to secure a more permanent temporary location but this Sunday, May 20, we will worship together at 10:00 AM on the campus of the Milwaukee Area Technical College in the C Auditorium.

We are grateful to our neighbor MATC and Dr. Vicki Martin, President of MATC for offering us the space for worship and fellowship as we gather for the first time away from Trinity.


If you would like to help, you may make a donation here online (select “Trinity MKE fund”), or mail your gift to:
SWD-Trinity MKE fund
8100 West Capitol Dr.
Milwaukee, WI 53222