Church History

Timeline History of St. John's 

1962: Pastor Ralph Baumbach accepts call as Mission Pastor

          First worship service with 200 people

          First Sunday School session with 68 present


1963: Charter membership closed with 151 confirmed and 274 baptized


1964: Dedication of new education addition


1972: Pastor Baumbach resigns to become assistant to the Bishop

         10th Anniversary celebration

          Vern Rice installed as Pastor

          Internship program begins


1973: Bethel Bible Study Training begins


1975: Resettly Viatnamese family, Hieu Pham Duc


1978: Dedication of new Centrum

          Adolf Quast installed as Associate Pastor


1979: Refugee Action Group resettles first Laotian family, Ounkham Kanya


1980: First children's performance, "Kids of the Kingdom"


1981: Pastor Rice resigns to accept call to Our Savior's, LaCrosse, WI

          Adolf Quast installed as Senior Pastor


1982: Paul Bulgerin installed as Assistant Pastor


1983: First Holiday Bazaar at St. John's


1984: Pastor Quast resigns to accept call to Our Savior's, West Bend


1985: First Youth trip to Boundary Waters

          Dave Meissner installed as Senior Pastor


1987: 25th Anniversary Celebrated

          ALC and LCA Synods Merge


1988: Handbell Choir formed


1989: Dedication of new education/fellowship addition

          Education Coordinator added to staff


1990: Dedication of pipe organ

          First contemporary worship service


1992: Partnership with All People's Church, Milwaukee, WI begins


1995: St. John's goes online with website


1999: Shared Ministry Coordinator added to staff

          Full-time Youth Coordinator added to staff

          Partnership with Los Heroes, El Salvador begins


2000: Dedication of new sanctuary and classrooms


2002: Pastor Bulgerin resigns to accept call to Grace in Grafton, WI 


2003: Pastors Scot and Kris Ruffatto installed as Associate Pastors

          Purpose Driven Life group launched

          Shared Ministry Position dropped

          Operations Director added

          Music Director added to staff


2004: Resettle Afghan family, Karimi


2006: Academy Lecture series begins


2008: Spotlight Ministries program begins

          Partnership with Akeri Parish, Tanzania, Africa begins


2009: New church built for Los Heroes, El Salvador


2010: Garage for Hope Center completed

          Pastor Dave Meissner retires

2011: Pastors Scot and Kris Ruffatto resign

         Full-time Discipleship Coordinator added to staff

         Full-time Church Administrator added to staff

         Jennifer Arnold installed as Senior Pastor



History of the ELCA

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was formed over 20 years ago. This new church was formed from three separate and well-established North American church bodies:

  • The American Lutheran Church
  • The Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and
  • The Lutheran Church in America.

Beginning January 1, 1988, these churches, with shared beliefs and missions, officially formed the ELCA. Two decades later, this energized church is composed of 4.8 million members and nearly 10,500 congregations across the U.S. and Caribbean. Today, the ELCA reflects the rich and diverse heritage of the people it serves.


But to understand our heritage fully, one must trace our roots back through the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.

Read about Lutheran Roots in America on the ELCA website >>


March 20, 2018


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St John's Lutheran Church
20275 Davidson Road
Brookfield, WI 53045




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