St Mary’s Church in Pewaukee, WI, was built in 1858. Its bell tower overlooks Pewaukee Lake and has stood the test of time for over 150 years. It hosted church services for over 100 years before regular services were ceased. The building was used for smaller gatherings and meetings until 2015, when Queen of Apostles (the owner of the building), stopped using it altogether.
Agape Community Church began using St. Mary’s Church as its meeting place in 2016, leasing the space from Queen of Apostles. After years of little use, the building was in desperate need of some repairs. With lots of love and elbow grease, Agape restored many parts of the building and used it as a place to worship on Sunday mornings. The surrounding community loved the new life and the excitement that once again filled the space. We met there for almost 3 years while continuing to restore and improve the building and the grounds.
Agape was a great steward of the building and wanted to return it to its former glory. This all came to an end in 2019, when Queen of Apostles ended the lease agreement and decided to sell the property, including the church, other buildings, and the surrounding land. Agape put in an offer to buy the church building and land around it, but the offer was rejected. Queen of Apostles decided to sell to a developer, who wanted to tear down the buildings in order to build a senior living facility in the middle of the residential area where the church is currently located. This plan caused a major community uproar and a “Save St. Mary’s Church” campaign was launched by local residents to save the majestic building from demolition. After many village meetings, legal actions, and getting the church added to the historic registry, the developer pulled out of their agreement. This was a huge win for the community.
The Village of Pewaukee stepped in and bought the property from Queen of Apostles in 2020, then worked with developers to turn some of the property into residential homes. The Village reached out to Agape Community Church to see if we would be interested in purchasing the church building and land portion to maintain it as a church. After prayer and thought, we said YES!! We became the new owners of the property in June 2021.
Having had all utilities cut in preparation for demolition and sitting empty for 2 years, the building was in complete disrepair. Though it is no small project, we have mapped out a plan to restore this New Hope Campus to it’s former glory and begin using it as our primary host site once again! The cost of those repairs and improvements are estimated to be $800,000 or more.
Some examples of needed repairs/maintenance are:
- New roof and gutters
- ADA accessibility w/elevator, ramps and bathrooms
- Repairing water damaged walls, windows, and floors
- Repairing old electrical wiring
- New HVAC system
- Installing modern and accessible bathrooms
- Lead paint abatement
- Repairing the exterior and interior of the bell tower
- Regrading all landscaping to move water away from the building
- Creating useful areas for the different programs and areas of church ministry
- and many more
If you are in a trade that can help with repairs or maintenance and would be interested in providing time and/or materials as your donation, please contact us at email@example.com.
If you are interested in helping us restore the gem in the community, please consider a recurring or one time donation to the New Home Campus. Please click here to donate.
Here are some photos of our progress! To see even more please check out our Restoration Album on Facebook!