Benediction Lutheran Church is the first church that was design by Donald L. Grieb and Associates. It bears striking similarities to the Mitchell Park Domes, which were constructed at the same time. It is often called the “teepee church” because it really does look like a huge teepee.
It has four unique aspects. When you enter you noticed the bookstand for the Bible on the altar out of which rises a free-floating to show that the message of Christ crucified for us is the central message of the Scriptures.
When you look up, you will see a six-sided cradle in the peak. This is a reminder of the Star of David. From this light cradle originally a spire of light shone through the skylight at the peak, and light shone down to the worshipers in the sanctuary. (We are hoping to restore these features with new LED technology, but it quickly became too costly and difficult to continuously build a scaffolding to the peak to change the incondesant bulbs.)
Descending from this Star of David is a six-sided tent-like structure, which is a reminder of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, where God promised to meet with His people, a fitting description of worship. Each section of the roof forms a triangle, reminding us of the Triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Looking to the rear, the balcony is shaped like the bow of a ship. It extends deep into the nave. The nave is the area of the church, where the congregation is seated. Nave is a Latin Word that means “ship.” The church has often been pictured as a ship that is on it’s way to heaven.
Finally, every aspact of the church is meant to look like it is floating. In fact, through the use of flood lights in the base, the entire church was meant to look like it was floating in the original design with the spire of light pointing to heaven from the peak. You will notice the the cross, altar, communion rail, and balcony all look light they are floating to remind us that our ultimate hope is not in the things of this world, but they are all gifts from above.
The church does not look like a traditional church in the least. There is no stained glass or artwork. It has clean symetrical lines. The chancel, pulpit and lecturn are composed of brick. Although it was constructed in 1963 it continues to have a modern look and feel to the building.
As stated, this was the first church designed by Donald L. Grieb Associates. The lead architect was Mr. Robert G. Wirth. The construction firm was Thomas H Bentley and Son, Inc. The total construction cost was $160,000. The sanctuary seats a surprising 438 people, but gives the impression that it is close and personal. The distance from the pulpit to the furthest pew is only 28 feet. The height from the floor to the base of the spire is 50 feet. The spire on top of the church is 28 feet.
Greeters will welcome our visitors. On Saturday, you a free to wander through the sanctuary and ask questions. Make sure that you look up! A visit could take less than 1/2 hour.
On Sunday, we have several worship services. You are welcome to come and go and get a taste of the diverse worship experiences that we have (English traditional at 9:00, Hmong at 11:30 or French African at 3:00 pm), but you will need to view the church from the rear of the sanctuary. Otherwise attend between services to be able to wander through the entire sanctuary.