The History of Faith Church
- 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 the globe; the march of God’s 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 God’s Word going unmet in this growing neighborhood. They rented a storefront cottage on the corner of Webster and Miramar Dr., where 22 attended the first meeting of a mission Sunday school on Sept. 5, 1943.
- Reformation Sunday, 1943
The first worship service took place with 26 in attendance.
- 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.
- October 30, 1949
The congregation called it’s own pastor for the first time and Rev. Erwin R. Lemke was installed. The following April the congregation changed its name to Faith Lutheran Church of Allouez.
- November 10, 1957
First sanctuary dedicated. 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.
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. In 1983, Faith received it’s first Vicar from the Concordia Seminaries.
- November 23, 1986
The new sanctuary was dedicated.
Faith calls it’s first Director of Christian Education, Beth (Briele) Cheslock. She served Faith from 1997-2000. 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. In addition to calling a new senior pastor, Faith also called their first Director of Music in 2002. Paul Heiser joined the ministry staff and was installed as the Director of Music. Rev. Michael Ahlemeyer was called as the associate pastor in 2004.
- November 2007
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 2005, Faith called Kristy (Horrocks) Fischer to serve as the Director of Christian Education. In November of 2007, fifty years after the first building was dedicated, the congregation dedicated the new building. In 2010 Rev. Ahlemeyer took a call to a church in Alabama.
Rev. Joshua S. Errer is called from the St. Louis Seminary to serve as associate pastor at Faith.
Rev. Speckhard took a call to a church in Indiana and Kristy (Horrocks) Fischer was released from her call as DCE. For the first time in many years, Faith was in a multi-position vacancy. Faith worked together as a congregation to re-evaluate their budget and staffing plans in relationship to their ministry needs and goals.
After many months of planning, Faith moved to call Rev. Errer as their Lead Pastor and Kyla Rodriguez as the Director of Christian Education. Additionally they moved to re-enroll in the vicarage program through the seminaries. Faith had no vicars from 2004-2014. On October 26, 2014, Rev. Errer was installed as the Lead Pastor and Kyla Rodriguez was commissioned and installed as the DCE at Faith.
This year has continued to hold many new and exciting changes for our family here at Faith. We are looking forward to the arrival of a vicar this summer! Of course, our mission is much more than buildings and pastors. Like a family might remember its past by referring to houses they’ve 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 God’s grace the story of our past will be the story of our future, come what may.