An historic Indianapolis African American church is stepping into the future. Holy Angels Catholic Church demolished almost a decade ago is celebrating the miracle of new life.
For years, a sculptured Holy Angel has stood alone at the corner of 28th and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive watching over the neighborhood. Soon there will be a new church building over its shoulder.
Sister Gail Trippett is the parish life coordinator of Holy Angels Catholic Church, "let's just say there's been many sleepless nights, many prayers and much sacrificing" she said.
To understand, you have to look back to 2011 and the last worship service held at the church. For more than a century, the building was a place of faith, hope and help to parishioners and their neighbors.
But the building was contaminated with mold and structurally unsound. It had to be torn down.
The church building disappeared but the spirit of the congregation lived on. The mission of Holy Angels Catholic Church was persevered
"This parish had to lift themselves up again and literally almost to start over as a congregation and just keep going," Sister Gail explained.
The church's elementary school kept running. The congregation kept worshiping in a borrowed chapel. It kept providing neighboring families with food, money, scholarships, tax help and other services all while raising $1.7 million dollars for a new building.
"Our parishioners were giving six times more than what they normally tithed, which means they were sacrificing a lot to make this happen," she explained. "To be able to stand here at this moment tomorrow and to kick off that we are actually going to be building our church is an absolute miracle," Gail added.
The church is still raising money. The groundbreaking is set for Saturday. Parishioners hope construction is completed in time to celebrate Easter in their new home.