Fire at Gloria Dei

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Duluth, Minnesota suffered a devastating fire in the early morning of February 18, 2016. The fire, which began in the electrical wiring, destroyed the church’s pipe organ, altar structure, which framed a painting of the Ascension, and most of the stained glass windows. Smoke and water damaged the 110-year-old Gothic-style sanctuary, pews, and contents, as well as the lower-level kitchen and fellowship hall and attached office and education building. 

Despite extensive losses, engineers determined nearly four months later that the structure could be reused, and the congregation voted to rebuild at the same downtown location, incorporating the original building in its discernment process. Meanwhile, God has accompanied us “in the wilderness” and enabled our ministry to continue beyond those walls. Since that first week, the congregation worshiped at Faith Lutheran Church on the city’s east end, a small congregation that was in the process of closing, and the Synod provided office space.

Nine days after the fire, Gloria Dei’s free monthly breakfast was held at a Catholic church two blocks away. A month later, over 100 community members and area clergy attended a service of prayer and singing as we reaffirmed our commitment to the neighborhood and encircled the building following a processional cross. Throughout this journey, it is relationships with God, one another, and the community that have mattered most, and we have experienced incredible generosity from individuals and congregations across our area and beyond. 

Rebuilding and Renewing Video Reflections 

Sue Anderson
March 18, 2018

Dan Lew
March 11, 2018

Journey A.
March 4, 2018

Other Resources

Local News Coverage

February 2016 Sermon

Easter 2016 Sermon

Stained Glass Windows