The History of Messiah Lutheran Church
In February of 1994, Messiah Lutheran Church met for the first time in the then Krause Funeral Home in Omro. Many years have passed since that Sunday in February. The following chapters will offer a brief history of Messiah and the challenges, blessings and 'bumps in the road' the congregation of Messiah has encountered along the way.
We thank God for His grace in allowing our congregation to continue to serve Him.
From the Krause Funeral Home, Omro
to H.B. Patch School
To Zion Lutheran Church
To Messiah Lutheran Church, 7394 Liberty School Road!
February 6, 1994 – March 31, 1996
On Sunday, February 6, 1994, a small fellowship of believers gathered for the first time at the Krause Funderal Home in Omro. This group sought to start a new congregation and to affiliate with the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod.The new congregation selected the name, Messiah Lutheran Church, U.A.C. (Unadultered Augsburg Confession) as the name of the new church body. The worship service was held in the main part of the funeral home with Bible Study and Sunday School following the service. Sunday School was held in the basement of the funeral home. Reverend Norman Schell provided pastoral service at this time.
After two weeks at the funeral home, Messiah moved to the gym at H.B. Patch. The sound equipment along with the worship setting articles were hauled to Patch each Saturday for set up. The process of setting up for Sunday services and lining up the folding chairs took close to an hour at first but, as we got more efficient, it was narrowed down to approximately 15 minutes. Those of you who helped set up know how fun it was to get that rack of chairs out of the storage room where they were kept! Take down on Sunday after services involved the same process, only in reverse. If you were proficient, you could get the rack loaded with chairs back in the storage area on the first try.
For a brief time in the spring and summer of 1995, Messiah again moved temporarily to Enterprise School approximately 5 miles west of Omro following a fire at H.B. Patch. We met in the gym at Enterprise in rather interesting surroundings. As it was summer and all the classrooms had to be cleaned, the gym contained not only the worship setting articles from Messiah, but all the furnishings from each of the five classrooms. The refurbishing of Patch took most of the summer.
Messiah moved back to Patch in August of 1995.
Worship services were held at 8:30 at this time, followed by Bible Study and Sunday School. Nadine Schell and Mary Lee were the Sunday School teachers. Services and adult Bible Study was held in the gym; Sunday School was conducted in the hallway.
March 31, 1996 – April 24, 2005
The congregation of Messiah found that the Missouri Synod was unwilling to have Messiah involved with their Synod body. As affiliation with a Synod body is quite essential to a church, Messiah submitted an application for membership with the E.L.S. (Evangelical Lutheran Synod) in fellowship with the larger W.E.L.S. Both synods represent conservative, confessional Lutheranism, with total allegiance to the inspired and inerrant Word of God.
Pastor George Orvick, the President of the E.LS. at the time attended our Palm Sunday worship service on Sunday, March 31, 1996 in order to answer questions concerning the E.L.S. and discuss the options for calling a Pastor.
It was decided by the congregation to apply for membership in the E.LS. and, if accepted into this fellowship, to start the call process for a Pastor.
Acceptance into the E.L.S. took place shortly after the visit from Pastor Orvick. Our call for a pastor was accepted by Pastor William Mack who was installed on Sunday, August 11, 1996 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Amherst. Pastor Mack had formerly served parishes in Nebraska, Washington, Oregon, Georgia, Australia, and Florida. Pastor Mack would serve both Messiah and Our Savior's churches jointly. Pastor Mack brought Patty, his wife, daughter, Christy, and his Irish sense of humor. Pastor Mack holds a Master of Divinity Degree and a Master Degree in Sacred Theology.
Pastor Mack is also an avid hunter. Both turkeys and deer trembled with fear when they heard that Hunter Mack was coming to Wisconsin.
Wednesday night Bible Studies were begun at the Omro Community Center during the time Pastor Mack was with us.
Confirmation classes continued to be held in an individual, self-paced format as previous to Pastor Mack's arrival..
During the time that Pastor Mack served our and the Amherst congregations, he would be at each location on alternate Sundays. Bob Joss initially led the congregation in Pastor Mack's absence. This duty was later taken over by Don Dettlaff and Clarence Lee.
A five acre tract of land was purchased by the congregation in the spring of 2000 as a future site for a church building.
Worship services were held at H.B. Patch the entire time that Pastor Mack was with us except for the summer of 2000. The congregation of Messiah then worshipped at Enterprise as Patch was being remodeled.
The 10 year anniversary of Messiah was celebrated on Sunday, April 25, 2004, with a special worship officiated by Pastor John Molstad, President of the E.L.S.
April 24, 2005 – July 10, 2005
FARE THEE WELL, PASTOR MACK.
LOOKING FOR A NEW SHEPHERD.
Pastor Mack, with our congregation for almost 10 years, took a call to Oregon, Wisconsin to serve the congregation at Faith Lutheran Church. We now had to put out another call for a pastor.
During this interim, we were blessed to have the services of Pastor Carlton Sielaff, an Evangelical Lutheran Pastor from Fox Lake. Pastor Sielaff was joined by his wife, Linda, on the Sundays that he was with us. Pastor Sielaff was also a full-time pharmacist at the Correctional Facility in Waupun at the time.
A pastoral call was sent to Pastor Gregory Haugen, who, by the grace of God, accepted the call to serve the Messiah and Amherst congregations.
July 10, 2005 to the January 27, 2013
On Sunday, July 10, 2005, Pastor Greg Haugen was installed as Pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church, Omro, and Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Amherst on a really hot Sunday.
Pastor Haugen, a 1982 graduate of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, had served in Oregon, Wisconsin, Minnesota and, most recently, Waterloo, Iowa. Pastor and his wife, Jeannee, have four children: Peter, Aaron, Mark and Sarah.
Messiah continued to worship at H.B. Patch until the Omro School Board notified our Congregation that there would be an increase in rent for H.B. Patch beginning December 1st from the original $25 to $90 per meeting. A special meeting was called on Sunday, November 26, to discuss this matter. Disappointed with the new rent cost, the congregation looked to meet elsewhere. Discussion then centered on meeting at Zion Lutheran, a WELS Church on Hwy. K. Pastor Haugen had contacted Pastor Kloehn of Zion in regard to the availability of the Zion Church. The congregation members of Zion considered this option and were willing and open to our worshipping in their church.
We now met at 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays with Bible Study and Sunday School to follow. This time was later changed to a worship time of 4:30. The rent for the facility was $50 each Saturday. We were also able to use the church at Zion for our special Christmas service. We remain very grateful to the Congregation of Zion for their kindness toward our congregation. Our Worship at Zion began on Saturday, January 6, 2007. Our last worship service at Zion was held on Saturday, July 9, 2011.
A concern was voiced that it was very important that our church would have a presence here in Omro. A short worship service was decided on that would follow the Bible Study at 6:00 currently being held at the Omro Community Center. Rental cost of the main room at the Community Center would be $25 per Wednesday. Advent and Lenten worship services would also be held at the Omro Community Center on Wednesday during the Advent and Lenten Seasons.
An architect was hired to draw up possible plans for a church to be erected on our land on Hwy. 21. Builders for Christ were also contacted to find out how they would be able to aid us in this project.
Although we had hoped that the land around our land purchase would be developed and city sewer and water would be accessible, this was not to be. The cost of building coupled with having to drill a well and have a holding tank was not feasible.
This was probably the most discouraging time for our Congregation but God was looking out for us.
2010 WAS A VERY INTERESTING YEAR!
The building committee, trying to come up with options for Messiah, checked on various places available to rent that would be closer to Omro. A small store front on Omro's Main Street was a possible option.
It was suggested that a building on Liberty School Road that had been for sale for some time was worth looking into. Both places were available for the congregation for a tour of inspection. This was the spring of 2010. At a meeting held in May of 2010, the congregation decided not to go with either option, stay at Zion at the time, and to trust in God for His guidance.
Spring turned to summer. The price of the property decreased by $15,000. Lots of special meetings were held in the fall. The decision did not come easily. It was still a lot of money for our small congregation to handle. We did a lot of praying!
At last, an offer to purchase the property at 7394 Liberty School Road was made in December of 2010.
The closing on the property on Liberty School Road was Monday, January 10, 2011.
We had a church. Lots of work to be done but, by the Grace of God and with His help, all things are possible. We also had the offer of assistance through Builers for Christ to help us with our new church building.
January 28, 2013 - June 23, 2013
As of January 27, 2013, Pastor Greg Haugen, who served our congregation faithfully, decided to resign his ministry to Messiah Lutheran.
In the interim, Pastor Carlton Sielaff served our congregation as the pastor to our small flock. We are very grateful for the love and caring that he has shown to our small congregation, and we are thankful that Messiah has been in his capable hands during this time. We have truly enoyed and have been blessed to have had Pastor and Linda, his wife, through this transition.
June 23, 2013 - June, 2015
Pastor Jesse DeDeyne accepted the divine call to Messiah Lutheran Church after graduating from Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary in Mankato, MN. Pastor DeDeyne and his wife, Katy, along with Jonah, Matthew, and Hannah, were with us beginning in June, 2013.
It was on June 23, 2013 that Pastor DeDeyne was ordained into the ministry and thus became an undershepherd to the Great Shepherd of our souls, Jesus Christ.
Near the end of 2014 Pastor DeDeyne took a call to serve our brothers and sisters of Redeemer Lutheran Church, New Hampton, Iowa. Then again we set about to call a new pastor. We were blessed once more to be served in the interim by Pastor Sielaff.
July 5, 2015 - present
Our small flock was approached by another flock north of us, the Christians at Redeemer Ev. Lutheran Church, Iola, Wisconsin, to extend a joint call to a new pastor. Pastor Michael G. Lilienthal was called to serve both our congregations, and he was ordained at Redeemer in Iola on July 5, 2015. Pastor Lilienthal and his wife Sarah now join us in the work of spreading the kingdom of our Lord!
All Glory be to God alone!
The Church's one foundation Is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
She is His new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven He came and sought her to be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died.