FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Downtown area churches opened their doors this evening to give the public a look inside some of the oldest places of worship in the City of Churches.
A dozen churches participated in this year’s City of Churches tour. While the main worship areas are typically the most eye-catching are to see, some of the stops open up access to areas that the public does not normally get to see, like the vestry at Zion Lutheran Church. Zion Lutheran has been a stop on the tour since 2017. Senior Pastor Douglas Punke said the history of the church is one of the things people ask the most questions about.
“We have a beautiful structure, a beautiful nave,” said Punke. “Zion Lutheran Church was established in 1883. We’ve been here ever since, so about 135 years, close to that.”
The churches are open to sharing information about their church activities and membership during the event, but they say the biggest draw for the community is the architecture of the buildings as well as the history behind them.
“It’s something we’re very happy to do,” said January Simpson, a lincensed minister at Plymouth Congregational Church. “We love to open up our church, invite our neighbors of all religions or no religions to come in and see what we have going on in here and learn what we’re all about so we just like to be open for folks to visit.”
Plymouth has taken part in the tour every year since it began in 2016. The ornate ceiling in their worship area is what usually catches the eye of visitors, but said people also tend to ask about the church’s upcoming Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival, an annual interactive event featuring a production of around 300 cast, crew, choir, and orchestra members.
This the fourth year for the tour. In the past, as many as 20 churches have taken part. You can find more information on the tour’s Facebook page.