St. John Lutheran Church in Defiance is celebrating the renovation of its sanctuary during Reformation services this weekend.
The ambitious $285,000 project, which coincides with the congregation's 160th anniversary, has been completed except for the air conditioning portion.
Work consisted of repairing and repainting the plaster walls and ceiling; repainting the altar, statue and all furnishings; and the installation of new flooring, additional lighting and new pews.
"Many people have donated their time, talents and treasures to make this happen," said Steve Zachrich Jr., project chairman. "This is a wonderful enhancement of our church."
Church members have been worshipping in the church/school gymnasium since late July so that the work could be completed. This weekend's services mark their first time back inside the historic sanctuary.
The church will host tours for the public on Thursday and Friday from 5-8 p.m., with a light supper served both nights.
"We welcome community members and area residents to come and see our newly-renovated sanctuary," said Rita Bergman. "The light supper on Thursday will be served by our youth board and Friday's meal will be served by our fellowship board."
Tours will also be available on Nov. 8 from 4:30-7 p.m. during the congregation's annual Election Night sauerkraut supper.
In addition, the Defiance High School choir and its Varsity Blues will perform in the sanctuary that same night at 7 p.m.
Both groups are directed by Eric West.
A timeline/history book is also being prepared for distribution.