History of Pilgrim Lutheran

Pilgrim's Journey of Faith

1956 Pastors of Circuit One send a letter to the North Wisconsin District, urging the opening of a mission in the rapidly growing Southwest side of Green Bay. The Mission Board selects a sight on Military Avenue bounded by Langlade and Biemeret Streets. A chapel is erected eventually to serve as a parsonage.

1957 Rev. Harold Brauer and Vicar Evan J. Temple from Redeemer Lutheran Church attend the first organizational meeting which selects the name Pilgrim Lutheran Church. Rev. Brauer and Vicar Temple serve Pilgrim until Rev. William A. Heidel is called to serve as Pilgrim's first full time pastor and is ordained on August 11, 1957. At the end of 1957, Pilgrim has a membership of 41 baptized and 18 communicants.

1960 A decision is made to build a new sanctuary.

1963 The new sanctuary is completed and dedicated on April 28, 1963.

1964 In the spring, Rev. Heidel takes a call to Salinas, California. Rev. Daniel E. Zielske is installed as Pilgrim's second pastor on May 10, 1964.

1966 In June of this year, a Preschool is established.

1968 Rev. Zielske accepts a call to Des Plaines, Illinois, and Rev. Orlan G. Zuberbier is called and installed as Pilgrim's third pastor on November 10, 1968.

1969 A new home-type educational center (presently the parsonage) is erected and dedicated to help fill the needs for an over-crowded Sunday School.

1970 At the end of the year, Pilgrim's membership totals 844 baptized and 442 communicants.

1976 An educational wing is erected and dedicated on June 13, 1976. This wing consists of eight classrooms and a gymnasium.

1977 Northeastern Wisconsin Lutheran High School is formed and uses the facilities at Pilgrim until 1981.

1979 On June 6, John Hagge begins his call to serve as Director of Christian Education to meet the educational needs of the congregation and work with the youth.

1981 On April 27, Mr. Norman Riemer is called to be Pilgrim's first Principal. On September 2, Pilgrim Lutheran School opens its doors to 47 students in grades Kindergarten through Third. The Board of Education sets up the goal that each year school would add another grade until all grades are fulfilled at the 1986-87 school year.

1984 In the spring, Rev. Zuberbier accepts a call to New Richmond, Wisconsin and, then, Rev. Donald R. Oldenburg is called and installed as Pilgrim's fourth pastor on June 17. Plans are also made for a school addition to handle the ever-increasing enrollment of students.

1985 It is decided that an Associate Minister is needed and Rev. Peter M. Peitsch is called from the Fort Wayne Seminary and is installed on July 28. On October 27, the new addition to the school is dedicated. This addition consists of six new classrooms, offices, teacher's workroom, restrooms, and sickroom.

1986 In September, Pilgrim begins its year with all grades in its day school from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8.

1987 God has richly blessed Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School. This year the membership stands at 1780 baptized and 1185 communicants. The school has also grown to be one of the largest in North Wisconsin District with an enrollment of 305 in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grades.

1988 Pastor Peitsch leaves Pilgrim and serves Christ of the Bay Lutheran Church in Green Bay. Also in June this year, Principal Riemer retires and moves back to Milwaukee. Principal Eugene Fiedler is called and begins his position as Pilgrim's second day school principal.

1989 Rev. John L. Spangler is installed as Associate Pastor on February 5.

1992 Pastor Oldenburg accepts a call to North Carolina and a call is extended to Pastor Spangler to become the Senior Pastor of Pilgrim.

1993 The retired Rev. Carl Ehrfurth from Hope Lutheran in DePere joins Pilgrim and serves part-time in various ways. On September 19, Rev. Gregory Hoffmann is installed as Associate Pastor.

1995 Dr. Kent Hunter and Associates completes an in-depth analysis of Pilgrim's church and school and provides recommendations for future direction.

1997 God has richly blessed Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School. Today the number of baptized members is 1974 and the number of communicants is 1434. The school opens its doors for the 1997-98 school year with 233 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten to Eight. During the summer, the inside of the church sanctuary gets a facelift which includes new carpet (also in half of the school), fans, lights, and sconces on the front wall, and more.

Summer 1998 Cherie Theis, D.C.E., is called to be the Director of Youth Ministry.

Fall 1998 Rev. Bruce Blocker is contracted for limited Pastoral Service.

September 2000 Pastor Spangler accepts a call to Community of Faith in Spring Grove, Illinois.

October 2000 Bob Natzke joins Pilgrim Lutheran Church to serve as lay minister.

February 2001 Pastor Hoffmann resigns as Associate Pastor.

August 2001 Pastor Scott Malme accepts our call as Lead Pastor.

August 2002 Pastor Hal Toenjes accepts our call as Associate Pastor.

September 2003 Pilgrim begins its day care ministry.

June 2004 Matt Baye and Matt Makela are contracted for Summer Pastoral Intern services.

April 2005 D.C.E. Cherie Theis is married and moves to Enterprise, AL.

June 2006 Pilgrim's first Vicar, Adam Parvey begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2006 Ben Venteicher begins his service as Director of Christian Education Intern.

August 2007 Pilgrim's second Vicar, Matt Canaday begins his service at Pilgrim.

December 2007 Pilgrim Lutheran Church celebrates its 50th anniversary and dedicates

August 2007 Adria Himmler begins her service as Director of Christian Education Intern.

January 2008 New Sanctuary and building projects are completed at Pilgrim.

August 2008 Pilgrim's third Vicar, Michael Nieslen begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2009 Pilgrim's fourth Vicar, Jonathan Ripke begins his service at Pilgrim.

September 2009 Pilgrim's Howard site holds first worship service in the Howard Village Hall.

August 2010 Pilgrim's fifth Vicar, Adam Koglin begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2011 Pilgrim's sixth Vicar, PJ Stohlmann begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2012 Pilgrim's seventh Vicar Andrew Wilson, begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2013 Pilgrim's eighth Vicar Joshua Reifsteck, begins his service at Pilgrim.

December 2013 Pilgrim purchases and begins weekly worship services in Suamico at the old Suamico Village Hall at Lakeview and Harbor Lights Road.

August 2014 Pilgrim's ninth Vicar, Lee Hopf begins his service at Pilgrim.

June 2015 Rebekah Schumacher begins her service as Director of Youth Ministry.

August 2015 Pilgrim's 10th Vicar, Nathan Spaulding begins his service at Pilgrim.

May 2016 Pastor Hal Toenjes accepts a call to Bakersfield, CA.

August 2016 Pilgrim's 11th Vicar, Daniel Ondov begins his service at Pilgrim.

July 2017 Pastor Michael Hanson accepts our call as Associate Pastor.

August 2017 Pilgrim's 12th Vicar, Joshua Grotelueschen begins his service at Pilgrim.

August 2018 Pilgrim's 13th Vicar, Colin Moon begins his service at Pilgrim.

To God alone be the glory, the praise and the honor for all which He has so richly done for Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School.