One of the oldest and largest Lutheran sanctuaries in Milwaukee, this church is an example of high Victorian Gothic architecture with old world craftsmanship.

A group of German Lutheran immigrants led by Pastor Ludwig Dulitz organized on December 4, 1848 as St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church—currently known as St. John’s on The Hillside. In 1850, they purchased and dedicated the old Trinity Episcopal Church on the corner of Fourth and Prairie Streets (Highland Avenue). The following years were a time of growth and expansion, leading to a need for a larger church. So, in the spring of 1889, H. Paul Schnetzky and Eugene R. Liebert were hired to design the new church building and the cornerstone was laid. Then, on July 28, 1890, with a seating capacity of 1,100, St. John’s current church building was dedicated.
St. John’s is architecturally significant as one of Milwaukee’s finest examples of High Victoria Gothic ecclesiastical architecture. In addition to its immense size—inside and out—there are many features that distinguish St. John’s. To name a few… over 800 Broadway lights illuminate the sanctuary and surround every arch in the nave. The organ was masterfully built in 1890 by Carl Barckhoff and rebuilt by the Wangerin-Weickhardt firm of Milwaukee—having 39 ranks and nearly 2500 pipes. Stained glass windows adorn St. John’s nearly everywhere you look. The beautifully hand-crafted, two-story altar and pulpit were hand carved in Germany and are at the center of St. John’s, communicating through fine craftsmanship its central message and focus.
Come and visit for yourselves this stunning church whose history and ministry continue to live on under the leadership of Pastor Isaac Hayes. Visitors will experience a welcoming group excited to host them at a place they call home. Visitors will be given a handout for a self-guided tour and there will be volunteers available for directions and questions.
For any comments or questions, reach out to Pastor Isaac Hayes at, or visit their website at
Worship services are held every Sunday at 10:00 am. Whether you make it to St. John’s site during Doors Open or not…if you would like to stop by during the week, please contact Pastor Isaac Hayes. Otherwise, if the church doors are open during the week, you can go on in and Pastor Hayes would be more than happy to meet with you!

804 W Vliet St

Saturday Hours
12 pm - 4 pm

Sunday Hours
12 pm - 4 pm

Photography, Video, Tripods Permitted

Handicapped Accessible