Before the fire…
Built in the early 1930s, our sanctuary had many differences from the one you see today. In those days, it featured dark wood, a choir loft with organ in the rear, and beautiful, classic stained glass in the classic style.
The original stained glass is one of the few fixtures that remained after the fire. However, the balcony no longer houses the choir loft and organ. Instead, it is used variously for meetings, and one-on-one counseling and tutoring.
Before the fire…
The original altar was also very traditional, with stained glass and soaring, rich wood details.
Notice the wooden corner features on either side of the altar area. These survived the fire, and can now be found at either side of the original stained glass in the balcony. (See the image above.) It is one of the many ways we have remembered and celebrated our past as we moved forward.
Today’s altar is much more airy, with oak fixtures and a single, large cross. Many of the fixtures are easily movable, allowing more flexibility.
As you may notice from the various images of our altar area, the panels in the large cross are removable. The inserts are changed for the various church and community seasons, and can be decorated for special events.
On the shelf beneath the altar is a reliquary of the ashes from the Sanctuary fire in 1995.
A gift from one of our South American sister congregations, this cross was brought to Milwaukee in one of our missionary’s suitcases.
Another gift from our South American sister congregations, this panel represents the many stages of Jesus’ life, including his death, birth, crucifixion and resurrection.
Two of the chairs that originally stood on the altar survived the fire and again sit on either side of the altar and cross.
Next stop on the tour: The Lower Level!