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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Church lanes not spared

Probably fewer than 200 church bowling alleys are left, according to a USA Today article.

One ELCA congregation, Trinity Evangelical in New Haven, Conn., was featured, but the popularity of its lanes is fading too.

The last time Trinity organized a bowling night at the four lanes in its basement nobody showed up.

Doug Schmidt, author of They Came to Bowl: How Milwaukee Became America's Tenpin Capital (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2007), said that city once had at least 13 church bowling alleys.

"They came with German immigrants in the 1860s," Schmidt said. "Most closed in the 1980s or '90s."


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