The History of Faith Church
In the summer of 1943, two area pastors, Rev. Ray Stry of Oneida and Rev. F.W. Boettcher of Preble, and several local families had the wisdom to see that WWII was not the most important war being waged all over he globe; the march of Godís Church toward ultimate triumph mattered even more. Serving their Lord in the arena to which He had called them, these people canvassed the Allouez area and found a need for Godís Word going unmet in this growing neighborhood. They rented a storefront cottage on the corner of Webster and Miramar Dr., where 22 attended the fist meeting of a mission Sunday school on Sept. 5, 1943. The first worship service took place a few months later on Reformation Sunday, 1943, with 26 in attendance.
By February of 1945 WWII was winding down, but the mission in Allouez was start getting started. The fledgling group officially organized as Allouez Lutheran Church. Rev. Stry served the congregation until September of 1947, and Rev. Boettcher then served as vacancy for thirteen months until the congregation called it own pastor for the first time, Rev. Erwin R. Lemke, installed October 30, 1949. The following April the congregation changed its name to Faith Lutheran Church of Allouez.
The congregation purchased our present building site on S. Webster in May of 1945, paid off the loan ten years later, and broke ground in 1956 for the first sanctuary, which was dedicated on November 10, 1957. In 1963 Rev. Lemke took a call, and Faith called Rev. Merton Jannusch to be the new pastor. The education wing (where the offices are now located) was added in 1970. Rev. Jannusch was replaced in 1973 by Rev. J. Robert Koch, who inherited a difficult situation and led the congregation for a quarter century. By the mid-eighties the congregation was bursting at the seams, and so broke ground on a major expansion. The new sanctuary was dedicated on November 23, 1986. Rev. Koch retired at the end of 1998, and his associate pastor, Rev. Keith Jones was called to be the new senior pastor. A few years later, Rev. Jones took a call back to his home of California, and the congregation called their associate pastor, Rev. Peter A. Speckhard, to be the new senior pastor.
By 2005 it became clear that once again the church needed more space, so the congregation planned another major expansion that would include a total renovation of the existing building as well. In November of 2007, fifty years after the first building was dedicated, the congregation dedicated the new building.
Of course, the mission is much more than buildings and pastors. Like a family might remember its past by referring to houses theyíve lived in, but those houses are not what made them a family, so this congregation has never been about the church building, big or small. Nor have we been defined by the pastors and individual members that have come and gone. In every circumstance we have been a community of believers gathered around the cross and the grace of God in Word and Sacrament. And by Godís grace the story of our past will be the story of our future, come what may.