Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Holds First Service in Renovated Building in Over Three Years

The church caught fire in in 2016.

DULUTH, Minn.- Many see the church as a group of people, but there’s nothing like having a church sanctuary to call home. For the first time in over three years members of the Gloria Dei congregation got to do just that.

Members old and new of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church sang their praise as they do every Sunday.

After a devastating fire destroyed their church in 2016, the congregation was forced to move.

“There was a small group that had walked from Gloria Dei out to the faith building right after the fire,” Pastor David Carlson said.

While the church was being rebuilt, worship was spent at the former Faith Lutheran Church five miles from Gloria Dei, a hike that one group made in honor of coming home to their new sanctuary for the first time.

“It’s just kind of coming full circle, our journey there and our journey back,” Carlson said.

The road to rebuilding was tough at some points. Two years of planning was necessary before ‘Moving Forward’ committee members could even set foot in the church.

“It took so long to get the building to where we could rebuild. That was a tough time and then to see the floors starting to form back and the rooms… That’s just been quite a journey,” Moving Forward committee chair Ryan Jagim said.

The final months leading up to the grand reopening were spent bringing in finishing touches.

“The sanctuary and the pews and the stain glass windows are new, but also the tradition of the same building so it’s both the old and the new and we knew people would just be excited about it,” Jagim said.

There’s minor work still to go, but it’s nothing to stop an over flowing sanctuary of church–goers happy to be home again.

“As we begin our ministry here, we look forward to reflecting that love and compassion to our neighbors here and to anyone that we meet and can welcome here,” Carlson said.

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