Christmas open house tour to demonstrate why Fort Wayne is ‘city of churches’

Zion Lutheran Church, 2313 S. Hanna St., is one of 17 churches participating in the second annual Christmas open house tour Friday. (Courtesy photo)

Seventeen reasons why Fort Wayne is known for its beautiful houses of worship will be on display Friday, Dec. 8, between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. during the second annual “City of Churches Christmas Open House Tour.”

“This is an attempt to highlight the beauty as well as the challenges historic churches face everywhere in the United States, and therefore also in Fort Wayne,” said organizer Cornelia Schulz, who brought the idea to Fort Wayne from her native Germany. “I have always been very happy to attend a church with a beautiful sanctuary. When I moved here in 1998 not many people shared that enthusiasm and downtown was basically a wilderness. However, people still faithfully drove down from the suburbs on Sundays to go to church. Fast forward to today, there is a lot of talk about urban renewal but the churches rarely get mentioned. Churches are gatekeepers to our history, but they also need support to maintain their historically significant buildings. It’s nice to share our common story with the community and also a joy to be able to visit each other in a casual way.”

Visitors are encouraged to visit as many churches as they can during the four-hour event. Participating churches grouped by proximity include:

1: First Wayne Street United Methodist, 300 E. Wayne St.

2: St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran, 1126 Barr St.

3: St. Mary Mother of God Catholic, 1101 S. Lafayette St.

4: Turner Chapel A.M.E., 836 E Jefferson Blvd.

5: Shepherd of the City Lutheran, 1301 S. Anthony Blvd.

6: Zion Evangelical Lutheran, 2313 S. Hanna St. at Creighton Avenue.

7: Faith United Methodist, 207 E. Dewald St.

8: Bethlehem Lutheran, 3705 S. Anthony Blvd.

9: Redeemer Lutheran, 202 W. Rudisill Blvd.

10: Peace Lutheran, 4900 Fairfield Ave.

11: First Missionary, 701 W. Rudisill Blvd.

12: Emmanuel Lutheran, 917 W. Jefferson Blvd.

13: St. John Lutheran, 729 W. Washington Blvd.

14. Trinity Episcopal, 611 W. Berry St.

15. Plymouth Congregational, 501 W. Berry St.

16. Trinity English Lutheran, 450 W. Washington Blvd.

17: First Presbyterian, 300 W. Wayne St.

Admission is free, and no ticket is required. All the churches are wheelchair accessible. More information is available at Facebook@Fort Wayne City of Churches Tour.