The History of Brookfield Lutheran Church
In 1950, 26 communicant members formally organized Brookfield Lutheran Church under organizing pastor, Rev. Frederick A. Krueger (1949-52).
Under Pastor Albert H. Miller, Brookfield Lutheran Church purchased six acres of land for $1,800 and on March 22, 1953, dedicated its first church. The structure previously served as St. John's Lutheran Church, Lannon, Wisconsin since 1895 and presently serves as BLC's Activity Center. Dramatic growth in the late 1950's and early 1960's raised the question of expansion.
Under Pastor Leo E. Wehrspann and Pastor Arthur H. Laesch (1963-71), building plans took shape, and on April 24, 1966, Brookfield Lutheran Church dedicated its highly functional, contemporary design facility constructed under contracts totaling $224,042.
Pastor David Parsch fostered an aggressive Youth Ministry and introduced the use of Contemporary Worship materials.
In July 1976, the congregation called its first Director of Christian Education, Mark Stenson, whose expertise in guitar and contemporary song led to forming Heavensong, a contemporary youth singing group of whom Dir. of Contemporary Worship Robin Griepentrog was a member.
These emphases on Youth Ministry and Contemporary Worship continued with Pastor Harvey Lange and with his D.C.E. co-workers, Jim Found (1980-87) and Duane Tweeten (1988-1997). The forming of a Worship Committee; the 1990 Tribute to the Ministry event with Marty Haugen, a gifted contemporary church music musician and composer; and the addition of Gary Foxe as Director of Music and Worship have given new impetus to the role of music in the parish. An enlarged choir, contemporary praise teams, and more instrumental support have enhanced festival services as well as regular traditional and contemporary worship.
The congregation adopted a new mission statement in 1990 which lifted up outreach for Christ. Under the Evangelism-Mission Committee, the congregation celebrated its first 'Friend Day' and adopted a program of special support for a designated monthly mission project beyond the budgeted program. Visibility of BLC was raised in the community as a result of regular mailings and newspaper publicity.
Pastor Gene Weber (1992-93) served as vacancy pastor prior to the arrival of Pastor Roger Heintz in June 1993, who was later joined by Pastor Alan Klatt in 1997. Support for Christian education and the development of H.O.M.E. groups (Homes Open to Ministry & Encouragement) continues strong. Continued growth and vision for ministry at BLC has raised the question of a major building project. Support for the Christian day school and the Lutheran High School Association remains strong.
As Director of Family & Youth Ministries, Pastor Al created several new programs, including Kids' Connection, a service for children ages 3-10; the Life in Jesus program, which provides Christian instruction for kids, youth, including LIJ Youth Summer Camps, Confirmation and Mission Trips; and adults. With the dawning of the postmodern mindset in the late 1990s, Pastor Al led an entirely new worship experience and community called Infinity, which lasted until his departure in 2005. Other areas of growth include Vacation Bible School, H.O.M.E. Groups, with Rick Warren's "40 Days of Purpose" church-wide Bible study campaign based on "A Purpose-Driven Life" starting a tradition of annual Fall H.O.M.E. Group campaigns; Adult Sunday School Classes and membership.
Fall 2005 welcomed the first of three God at Work Capital Campaigns in an effort to raise funds to build a new church office, recreational building and sanctuary. We celebrated Easter 2008 in a new Worship and Family Life Center and the new church office, now adjoining the main church, opened later that spring. Rev. Dr. Alexander Whitfield accepted a call to BLC as well as Vicar Marc, who now oversees the church plant on Milwaukee's east side. Phase Two of the God at Work campaign is underway to assist with eliminating debt incurred from purchasing land and various maintenance projects. Our vision remains the same: BLC is Christ-centered, growing, vibrant and relationally focused. We equip and support maturing Christians so we can grow the body of Christ wherever we go.