Meet the family that integrated Trinity Lutheran Church

Posted: 7:20 PM, May 18, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-18 20:20:59-04

MILWAUKEE — Sixty-nine years ago the Yancey's were the first black family to join the downtown church at a time when there were no Lutheran churches in Milwaukee that offered services for African-Americans.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran church has such a rich history in its 140 years on the corner of 9th and Highland Avenue.

Troy Yancey has fond memories of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church.

"It was the church I grew up in. I went every Sunday unless I had the measles," said Yancey.

Troy recalls one Sunday in 1949 when her mother, Enid Yancey set out to find a church service.

"My mother took us to a church on 20th and North and they would not let her in. Because she was black and she had these black children," she said.

One closed door didn't stop Enid.

"So, she got on a bus and she saw a steeple and she decided to go to that church and they welcomed her. They welcomed our family," said Yancey.

Trinity became the first integrated Lutheran congregation in Milwaukee. The Yancey's have called the downtown church home for more than six decades.

Tuesday, Troy was heartbroken to learn her beloved church was engulfed in flames.

Unsure of what the future holds for the structure of Trinity, Troy has no doubt the church will rise above the ashes stronger than before.