St Andrew Lutheran Church
West Bend, WI

   

A Brief History of St. Andrew Lutheran Church

St. Andrew Lutheran Church held its first service on the first Sunday in November of 1989 in the gym at Green Tree public School. Prior to the service a "phone canvas" was done in the West Bend area and interested persons were informed that a new church was being formed. Support for the new mission came from the congregations of Circuit #9, with Pilgrim Lutheran spearheading the initiative.

Initially, a number of pastors from the West Bend and surrounding area helped to fill the pulpit. Then, in March of 1990, Vicar Bryan O'Connor was called to serve St. Andrew on a regular basis. In June of 1990, St. Andrew moved to the lower level of Dr. Buck's dentist office on north Main Street. In March of 1991, Rev. O'Connor was ordained as a called pastor. That same year, on June 9, 1991, St. Andrew Congregation received its charter as a member of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod. In November of '91 Rev. O'Connor was called to be the first pastor of St. Andrew.

Meanwhile, Sunday School and Bible classes had begun and Alice Braeger had become the regular volunteer accompanist for the Sunday a.m. service. A piano was donated by the Koenig family. Later an organ was donated by the Darmody family. Pews, an altar and Baptismal font were gifts from Peace Lutheran, in Beaver Dam. All these items would later be moved into the new church. A full slate of officers were installed, with Dan Berres as the first congregational chairman. Members were elected to the following boards: Elders, Stewardship, Education, Trustees, and Evangelism. The First choir was begun and weekly cleaning crews took turns maintaining the appearance of our rented facility.

Early in November of 1991 a celebration was held to thank God for the many blessings received during the first year of history. A "pot luck" dinner was followed by a slide presentation by Dan Berres tracing the year of growth.

In November of 1992 a piece of land owned by the Peterson family became available on state highway 144. An offer was made and the land was purchased in December of that year. Between December I and the closing date of December 18 the entire purchase price of the land was received as gifts to the congregation. Soon after the holidays a building committee comprised of representatives from each Board plus other interested members of the congregation began regular meetings. Cal Siegel was contracted as the design engineer, and the congregation began to explore building a permanent home. A loan was arranged through the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Laborers for Christ were contracted to do the construction, and a ground breaking celebration was held in May of 1993. Rev. Robert Lindau, Circuit Counselor preached the sermon and over 150 persons joined hands to outline the floor plan of the 5,000 sq. ft. proposed structure.

The first worship service took place on October 30, 1993 with the formal dedication ceremony on November 14, 1993. Dr. Edwin Suelflow, President of the South Wisconsin District, preached and First Vice President, Rev. Hilbert Hilgendorf, was the Liturgist. Pilgrim Lutheran Church choir sang and a brass quartet made up of Steve and Karen Siegel, Howard Schneider and Kevin Pachuki, joined with Alice Braeger to provide the musical accompaniment, Nearly 300 persons were in attendance for the occasion. Dan Berres presented slides of the building of the Church.

The congregation moved to its new home with approximately 65 communicate members and 25 children. One year later those numbers had nearly doubled. Within two years discussion began concerning adding much needed space for education and worship. The building committee, chaired by Ron Riemer, had plans drawn up for a new church and the conversion of the present worship area into a multi-purpose room. The steeple was raised over the new church in September of 1997 and a new preschool began the same month. Growth in the area north of West Bend has continued at a steady pace as has the membership growth of St. Andrew. By early spring of 2000 there were 400 persons who called St. Andrew their church home. Discussion has begun concerning adding additional education space.

In 2001 Pastor O'Conner answered a call to another congregation and in July of 2002, St Andrew was blessed with our new spiritual leader, Pastor Korytkowski. In the interum, St Andrew was blessed to have Rev. Mark Eckert as our vacancy Pastor.

 
 
 

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