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About Our Church





August of 1947: Synodical Missionary, the Rev. Dwight R. Shelhart began canvassing the area north and south of Greenfield Avenue to the west of Highway 100. On September 29th, fifty-seven people attended a planning meeting for our new church. The first church service was held on November 2nd in a private home, and a few weeks later the first Sunday School.


January: Property Purchased

March 20 (Palm Sunday): Congregation Organized as a member of the United Lutheran Church of America.

April 11:  The congregation began holding services at the Shady Nook Elementary School on 124th and Greenfield Ave. June 11: The first Pastor of the church, Mr. Victor K. Wrigley, was called and began to serve.


November 13: The dedication service for the original church was held.



June 15: A new Baldwin organ was dedicated. The organ is still in use in a village church in Genesee, WI


March 25: A new basement addition was completed. 


April 12, 1987:  Palm Sunday – 16 panels of stained glass windows installed in the Nave were dedicated.



April 26:  Celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Purchased handbells.


 April 13:  60th Anniversary Dinner “This Far by Faith”. 

"This Far By Faith"

Gethsemane 60th Anniversary


Top Row Left: Pastor Marlin Carlson, ELCA Bishop Paul Stumme-Diers

Bottom Row Left: Pastor Victor Rigley, Pastor Justin Sylvias, Pastor Ross Larsen,

Pastor Howard Knox.


 October 1st:  75th Anniversary Dinner “Growing in Faith”. 

""Growing in Faith"

Gethsemane's 75th Anniversary

75th Pastors.jpg

 Left: Pastor Marlin Carlson, Interim Pastor Carol Hegland, Interim Pastor Paul Ihlein, Pastor Grant Quever, Pastor Perrie Dralle

President Eddie Gonzalez,

Greater Milwaukee Synod Bishop Paul Erickson

75th Jon Pearson_edited.jpg

75th Anniversary Children of the future

Last Charter Member Jon Pearson

"Aka Saint Jon"


January:   Interim Pastor Karen Natterstad starts.  4 new members join our congregation.

March 22:  Church closes due to Covid-19 pandemic.

March – July:  Pastor Karen sends out daily Devotions to keep us all strong and connected as a church family.   

March:  Sunday School moved to Zoom meetings.

April: New Website created 

May 1:  New Music Director Gary Dennison starts.  

June 14:  Our new Music Director starts sharing in the daily Devotions with Pastor Karen.  

July 19:  The church re-opens after months of being closed. An in-house service and a Zoom meeting are the start of a new norm.

Sept:  New Logo design, Brochures, outdoor electronic church sign, and new Website are approved. 

Council and the MET teams meet through Zoom meetings. 

October: Services were going well, but a spike in Covid-19 causes church to Temporarily close again.

November: New Outdoor digital sign delivered and installed. 

December: First outdoor worship on Christmas Eve "Christmas Under the Stars." Due to Covid 19, unable to gather inside the sanctuary, below freezing temperatures, well attended service, mostly from vehicles. 

the Faith

We Believe

Gethsemane is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

ELCA Teaching:
The ELCA confesses the Triune God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In our preaching and teaching the ELCA trusts the Gospel as the power of God for the salvation of all who believe.

ELCA teaching or theology serves the proclamation and ministry of this faith. It does not have an answer for all questions, not even all religious questions. Teaching or theology prepares members to be witnesses in speech and in action of God's rich mercy in Jesus Christ. 

We are on a journey, following Jesus, studying the Scriptures, learning from each other, and encouraging each other to be God’s joyful servants to world. 


Teaching for a life of faith 

Every Sunday in worship we hear God’s word from the Scriptures, pray as Jesus taught and come to the Lord’s Table expecting to receive the mercies that the Triune God promises. Throughout the week we continue to live by faith, serving others freely and generously in all that they do because we trust God’s promise in the Gospel. In small groups and at sick beds, in private devotions and in daily work, this faith saturates all of life. 

We believe the Holy Spirit creates, strengthen and sustains faith in Jesus Christ and the life we have in him. Our life-giving work continues every day, as Martin Luther explained in the Small Catechism: the Holy Spirit “calls, gathers, enlightens and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.”This connection to all of life is the clearest demonstration of the authority that the canonical Scriptures, the ecumenical Creeds and the Lutheran Confessions have in the ELCA.

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