MILWAUKEE -- Nearly one year after fire almost destroyed the historic building, Trinity Lutheran Church began rebuilding its roof.
On a dreary, windy May morning, gigantic supports were hoisted into the air high above Trinity Lutheran Church.
Almost one year prior, it was firefighters up above, spraying thousands of gallons of water on an unrelenting fire; nearly destroying the house of worship.
"I've been told by many people, how did you get this going so fast?" Christine Behnke, Director of Parish Education said. "I don't know what to say. By God's grace."
There is still plenty to be done before the church will be able to host its first service. However, today is a gigantic step towards getting there.
"Hope, future, exciting times," Behnke said. "Rising form the ashes as we keep saying."
Behnke says the process will take weeks, if not months to get the roof finished. They are starting on the east end of the building with the first beams. Wind and rain may slow things down a bit but optimism is high.
Despite nearly all of the old stained glass being gone, the historic organ wrecked and other trinkets gone, the fact parts of the original building are still standing is a miracle for the church.
"We praise God it is [structurally sound] because we really want to keep going with this building," Behnke said. "If they said it's not sound, we would have rebuilt right here anyway. That was a definite determination by the congregation."
May 15th will mark one year since the disaster. Some may call the date an anniversary but you won't hear those words from Behnke.
"Anniversaries are happy occasions we celebrate," Behnke said. "We will mark the one year of the fire and to think, this all happened in one year is fabulous."
Behnke says they're still at least three years from being able to host their first service since the devastation. She says the reason things have already gone so quickly is because of the support from the community, including a large number of donations.