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A History of the Roots of Christ Lutheran Church

  • 1863: First services held in the Township of Glencoe

  • 1875: St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glencoe was formally organized. Three acres were deeded to the church. A church structure was constructed and dedicated.

  • 1885: Christ Lutheran Church of Montana was built and preaching services were held.

  • 1887: A Congregation was officially formed in Montana Township.

  • 1885: A Parsonage was purchased in the Village of Arcadia.

  • 1887: The small frame church was erected in Village of Arcadia.

  • 1910: On August 5, ground was broken for a new church in Arcadia. On September 10, the first English services were conducted. About November (Dec.?) 18, the original part of present church building was constructed and dedicated in Arcadia.

  • 1911: The Ladies Aid was formed.

  • 1913: The Senior Choir was organized.

  • 1914: The Sunday School was established.

  • 1923: The residence next to the church was purchased and converted into educational facilities.

  • 1929: St. John's Lutheran Church, Glencoe, and Christ Lutheran Church, Montana reorganized as St. John's Christ Lutheran Congregation of Arcadia.

  • 1930: The Women's Missionary Society was organized.

  • 1931: Midweek religious education classes were established.

  • 1938: The Junior Choir was organized.

  • 1946: The Luther League was formed.

  • 1949: On November 27, the dedication of new addition was held.

  • 1951: A new parsonage was built on church property.

  • 1953: Vacation Bible School started in Montana and Arcadia.

  • 1960: The name was changed to American Lutheran Church of Arcadia. The ALCW was organized. The congregation assisted in the start of Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Trempealeau, Wisconsin.

  • 1962: On November 25th the transfer of church property from St. John's Independent Lutheran Church, Arcadia, was accepted.

  • 1965: On October 31 the dedication of the new Educational facility was held.

  • 1969: The system of Standing Committees was started.

  • 1971: The congregation voted to support Missionaries, Art and Millie Wys in Cali, Columbia.

  • 1972: The Bethel Series was started. The congregation began to support the work of the Joy Lutheran Church in Prescott, Wisconsin.

  • 1974: On December 15, the new church entrance was dedicated.

  • 1977: New Speaker System Installed.

  • 1982: In October a Casavant Opus 3547 pipe organ was installed.

  • 1984: The basement fellowship hall was remodeled.

  • 1988: Joined Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Parish Ed/Youth Worker position added.

  • 1989: Christ Lutheran Church became official church name.

  • 1990: Lara Fetsch started missionary in Hong Kong working with Pilipino women.

  • 1996: Purchase of grand piano and electronic digital piano.

  • 2000: 3 Octaves of Handbells and Choir Chimes purchased.

  • 2004: Paul Forsyth started as ELCA Global Missions missionary to Japan.

  • 2006: First Stephen Ministers ordained.

  • 2012: Mt. Sinai Hispanic Church started services at our church.

  • 2014: Jenna Putz placement in Argentina for ELCA Young Adult in Global Mission.

  • 2014: First National Night Out sponsored by Christ Lutheran Church and Mt. Sinai Hispanic Church.

Christ Lutheran Church membership
End of 2005 806
End of 2006 830
End of 2007 837
End of 2008 854
End of 2009 853
End of 2011 865
End of 2012 857
End of 2014 845
End of 2015 842



History of the Buildings of Christ Lutheran Church

The first services were held in 1863 in the homes of Lutheran families in the Glencoe area.

In 1875 St. John's Church was constructed and dedicated in Glencoe. At this time services began to be held in homes in the Montana Area.

Construction of Christ Church in Montana took place about 1885.

About 1896-7 the Arcadia Lutherans divided into two groups with the Wisconsin Synod Congregation, St. John's Independent Lutheran Church, meeting in the little white church. Preaching services were held in the upstairs of the parsonage for those who associated themselves with the Glencoe and Montana churches, until in 1910 a new church was built. This church was built through the financial efforts of 18 families from the Arcadia, Glencoe and Montana churches. Much of the labor was provided by members of the churches. This church, built in 1910, was the basis for our present church.

In 1923 the residence next to the Arcadia church (present location) was purchased and converted into educational facilities.

In 1929 St. John's of Glencoe and Christ of Montana, deeded their property and re-organized as the St. John's Christ Lutheran Congregation of Arcadia, Wisconsin.

The church building was enlarged to serve a growing congregation in 1949 using lumber from the St. John's Church of Glencoe and that of farmer members. The original Glencoe church bell was used and is now located above the balcony. Again, much labor was donated by members of the congregation. It is recorded that the leader of the work parties, Alex Foster, reported to the annual meeting that he was never turned down when he asked for help, this being an indication of the commitment of the congregation to the building program.

Work began on a new parsonage next to the church in 1951.

The St. John's Independent Lutheran Church of Arcadia property was transferred to this congregation in 1962. (This building replaced the little white church referred to previously.)

Again, due to a growing membership, an educational addition was built in 1965. A new entrance was constructed in 1974, bringing the church building to its present state.

A History of the Pastors Who Have Served Christ Lutheran Church

Ernst Strube
Ernest Giesel
Christian Probst
John Burchard
John Weirauch
Carl Ziebell
Julius Badke
Albert Froehlke
Carl Rutzen
Herman Gerhard
Adolph Werr
Metzker (around Werr's call)
G. F. Hanselmann
Herbert Zumhingst
George F. Muedeking
Walter E. Schultheiss
Howard B. Benson
Wayne G. Radke
Howard Stendahl
Claire Whitmore
Flatten (interim pastor)
Arthur W. Sharot, Jr
Rodger Knudson (interim pastor)
Breck McHan
Chris Hallemeier (interim pastor)
Ron Walter (interim pastor)
Kris Fahey (interim pastor)
Peter Jonas


Youth Directors Who Have Served Christ Lutheran Church

Nicole Harmel, David Schiopota, Julie Gates, Erin Wright, Kris Knutson

Christ Lutheran Church History

The Twists and Turns of Christ Lutheran's History

JoDeen Forsyth did some investigative work to produce this condensed history of Christ Lutheran Church.

If Christ Lutheran Church ceased to exist, would it matter? That was a question posed to us by our guest speaker, Jacob Sorenson, on August 18. He spoke about the powerful witness of all those Christians who came before us, including those who formed this church in Arcadia.

Before 2013 comes to an end, we should take notice that this year is the 150th anniversary of the formation of this congregation. Our church roots are full of twists and turns.

The following is a summary of the events that created the church we now call Christ Lutheran of Arcadia Wisconsin. Much of this information can be found on our church website on this page and additional information comes from two booklets: Booklet 1949 for the dedication of the 1949 addition to our present building and Booklet 1975 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of our first church structure built in 1875. If you have more information about the history of our church, please make it known so that we can add it to the record of our congregation's journey.

In the year 1863, the Rev. Ernst Stube, a Lutheran pastor, serving a congregation at Fountain City, Wis., realized that in the town­ship of Glencoe, near the village of Arcadia, a number of families were living who had no Lutheran church of their own and were, therefore, without the Means of Grace. At once the Rev. Stube made it a point to contact these families and arrange to meet with them in their homes to preach the Word of God to them, baptize their children and instruct them in the fundamental teachings of Holy Scripture. He served these people as best he could in this manner for twelve years. " Strube, was an early Iowa Synod medical missionary from Fountain City who traveled to the Glencoe area once a month to bring the Gospel to the pioneers.

In 1875 the Glencoe families, decided to call a pastor of their own and the Rev. Ernest GieseI1875-1877, a member of the Augs­burg Synod (or maybe the Iowa Synod) became their first resident pastor living in the home of a church member. The congrega­tion was formally organized with a written constitution and the name St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glencoe. A church building was constructed in Glencoe and dedicated that same year. At some point, maybe 1876, Rev. Giesel began preaching services in the homes of the Lutherans he found in the township of Montana. When exactly the official church was established in Montana seems to be unknown.

Rev. Julius Badke, a Wisconsin Synod pastor, served the Glencoe and Montana churches from 1884-1887. Under his leadership the Christ congregation in Montana erected a church building about 1885. A parsonage was purchased in Arcadia in1885 where Rev. Badke and his family lived. A small frame church was built in Arcadia in 1887 so parishioners would not have to travel to Glencoe to worship on Sunday.

The next three ministers, Rev. Albert Froehlke 1888-1890, Rev Carl Rutzen 1890-1896, and Rev. Herman Gerhard 1896-1897, were Wisconsin Synod pastors. In 1897, "there was congregation disunity so that Rev. Gerhard was forced to leave after serving only ten months."

"About 1896-7 the Arcadia Lutherans divided into two groups with the Wisconsin Synod congregation, St John's Independent Lutheran Church meeting in the little-white church. (This is likely, the "small frame church" built in 1887.) Preaching services were held in the upstairs of the parsonage for those who associated themselves with the Glencoe and Montana churches, until in 1910 a new church was built."

"Rev. Adolph Werr 1897-1904, was an Iowa Synod pastor called by members of Christ Church, St. John's Evangelical and a few of the members attending the church in Arcadia. In addition to serving Christ Church and St. John's Evangelical, he held services in an upstairs room of the parsonage in Arcadia for the few Arcadia members that called him. He later changed to the Wisconsin Synod, apparently to restore church unity, and served in the Arcadia church as well as the other two churches. However, this did not restore unity." A Wisconsin Synod pastor, the Rev. Metzker was also called around the time Rev. Werr was called, by the majority members of the Arcadia church. It is unknown how long or to what extent he served.

Rev. G.F. Hanselmann from the Iowa Synod served from 1904-1907 and then Rev. Herbert Zumhingst 1907-1913 came from the Ohio Synod. It was under his leadership in 1910, that the church building was erected in Arcadia and the first English services were conducted. All previous services had been in German.

St. John's Church of Glencoe and Christ Church "joined to construct a church building in the village of Arcadia to serve retired members of either congregation, but no congregation in the village was organized, and any new member living in the village was constrained to take membership in either one of the township churches. This church building was dedicated under the pastorate of Rev. Henry Zumhingst on the 18th of November (or maybe December) 1910. Because the preaching services held in an up­stairs room of the parsonage were deemed sufficient by the majority of the congregation's members, only eighteen families were persuaded to give financial assistance toward the construction of the Arcadia edifice." Much of the labor was provided by mem­bers of the churches. This 1910 building was the basis for our present church. St. John's Church of Glencoe and Christ Church were continuously served as one parish during their history until they were merged in 1929.

In 1913, Rev. George F. Muedeking (American Lutheran Synod) came to serve the Glencoe and Montaga congregations and" those worshiping in Arcadia, He served in Arcadia for 43 years. On February 3, 1913, when George F. Muedeking was or­dained and installed as pastor, the combined parish consisted of 51 families.

"In 1929 St. John's Church of Glencoe and Christ Church dissolved themselves, deeded their property and reorganized and incorporated themselves as the St. John's-Christ Lutheran Congregation of Arcadia, Wisconsin.

By 1949 the Arcadia congregation had increased to 526 total communicant members and the church was usually filled to capac­ity. Members decided to enlarge the building by erecting a brick veneered addition using lumber sawed from logs donated by farmers of the congregation and also using lumber salvaged from St. John's Church of Glencoe, where services had been dis­continued. The new addition was dedicated on Sunday, November 21, 1949. The enlarged church could comfortably seat 550 and an overflow crowd of about 650.

In 1951 a new parsonage was built on church property.

In 1953 Vacation Bible School began in Montana and Arcadia.

In 1959, April 19, the last Sunday service was held at the Montana church. (from ushering records)

In 1960 the name was changed from St. John's-Christ Lutheran Church to American Lutheran Church of Arcadia.

In 1962, November 25, church property from St. John's Independent Lutheran Church, Arcadia was transferred to American Lutheran Church of Arcadia.

In 1965, October 31, the new Educational facility was dedicated.

In 1974, December 15, the new church entrance was dedicated. (1975 booklet)

In 1982, October, a Casavant Opus 3547 pipe organ was installed.

In 1984 the basement fellowship hall was remodeled.

In 1989 the name was changed from American Lutheran Church of Arcadia to Christ Lutheran Church. (from this page)

It is mind-boggling to read through the complex set of events that brought our church through the past 150 years from 1863 to 2013. We can only imagine the hard work, the prayers, the misunderstandings, the forgiveness, the disappointments, the pride, and the joy that are hidden in the details.

As a congregation, our worth is not measured by our past, but looking at our history can give us a renewed appreciation for the faith we have inherited. It is good for us to remember our history; not to live in the past, but to prepare for the future-and to answer the question, "If Christ Lutheran Church ceased to exist, would it matter?" It is good for each of us to contemplate what we can do to make sure the answer to that question is, "Yes."

*A paper, Church History CH3031 written by Daniel S. Olson, December 2005, page 7, claims that Rev. Emst Stube, was a Wisconsin Synod pastor and that St. John's of Glencoe joined the Wisconsin Synod in 1870, giving this church deep roots in the Wisconsin Synod.

**from Church History CH3031, by Olson, page 7, "During Rev. Badke's pastorate at St. John's, another church was added to the three existing preaching stations. St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Whitehall, joined the Wisconsin Synod on June 121885. This church shared pastors with St. John's until 1904.

***from Church History CH3031, by Olson, page 11, It was also in 1910, that the Arcadia St. John's group associated with the Wisconsin Synod, built a new church to replace the small frame church which had become too small. It was built across the street from the old church and the old frame church was enlarged and improved to be used for fellowship activities.

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