T.H. Stemper Co. – Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Atlas Obscura

T.H. Stemper Co.

This holy goods emporium is where priests go for a little retail therapy to outfit their churches. 


For over a century the T.H. Stemper Co. has been selling all of the church goods you probably never even considered one needed to shop for from goblets and candles and robes to statues of the Virgin Mary, framed pictures of the Pope, and pews. Really anything a church leader might like to receive for their birthday.  

Owned and operated by generations of the Stemper family since 1911, the almost staggering collection of mundane religious goods brings up questions and answers about your neighborhood church you never knew you had. How did they decide on a collection plate versus a basket on a pole? Where do priests go to have their robes customized? Can congregants with a gluten allergy eat sacrament wafers? T.H. Stemper Co. answers them all.  

Stemper’s is filled with all of those things you’ve probably seen on a Sunday morning but you’ve probably never really given a second though about such as disposable communion cups, collection dishes, robes in a variety of colors, pews, candles, pulpits, and everything else that a holy person would need to minister to their flock in style. It’s also stocked up with things most probably never even thought existed from sacred cleaning clothes to whole wheat or gluten-free wafers to only slightly unsettling statues of priests. They also offer such niche services as sacred vessel replating and ceremonial robe customization. 

While their Wisconsin storefront is a cornucopia of odd and ordinary religious items, the company also has a massive web store that lets churches around the world rejoice in the convenience of a one-stop holy shop.  

Know Before You Go

Located in Milwaukee's Bay View Neighborhood just off of Bay Street.

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October 1, 2013

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