History of Pilgrim Lutheran

History of Pilgrim

1950's Mission Beginnings


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 and eventually to serve as a parsonage.


Rev. Harold Brauer and Vicar Evan J. Temple from Redeemer Lutheran Church attend the first organizational meeting which selects the name Pilgrim Lutheran Church. The Mission Chapel at St. Agnes Dr. and Biemeret St. is dedicated on March 24, 1957.

Rev. William A. Heidel is called to serve as Pilgrim’s first full time pastor and is ordained and installed on August 11, 1957.

Pilgrim has a membership of 41 baptized and 18 communicants.

1960's Growing and Learning


A decision is made to build a new sanctuary.


A new sanctuary is built at the present site, 1731 St. Agnes Dr., and dedicated on April 28.


Rev. Heidel accepts a call to Salinas, CA.

Rev. Daniel E. Zielske is installed on May 10.


In June, a preschool is established.


Rev. Zielske accepts a call to Des Plaines, Illinois.

Rev. Orlan G. Zuberbier is installed as on November 10.


A new home-style educational center is erected to meet the needs of an over-crowded Sunday School. It is dedicated on November 9. This center is later used as a parsonage and teacherage. Today it is our Daycare Facility.

1970's Following the Lord's Call


An educational wing consisting of eight classrooms and a gymnasium is added and dedicated on June 13.


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


On June 6, John Hagge is installed as Director of Christian Education to meet the educational needs of the congregation and work with the youth.

1980's Foundations of Faith


Mr. Norman Riemer is called to be Pilgrim’s first Principal and is installed on August 30.

On September 2, Pilgrim Lutheran School opens its doors to 47 students in grades Kindergarten through Third. The Board of Education establishes the goal that each year the school would add another grade until all grades are fulfilled.


It is decided that an Associate Pastor is needed. Rev. Donald R. Oldenburg is called as Pilgrim’s first Associate Pastor and is installed on June 17.

Rev. Zuberbier accepts a call to New Richmond, Wisconsin.

Plans are made for a school addition to handle the increasing enrollment of students.


Rev. Peter M. Peitsch is called from the Fort Wayne Seminary and is installed on July 28.

The new addition to the school is dedicated on October 27. This addition consists of six new classrooms, offices, teacher’s workroom, restrooms, and sickroom.


In September, Pilgrim Lutheran School begins its year with all grades. The school has grown to be one of the largest in the North Wisconsin District with an enrollment of 305 from Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth Grade.


Pastor Peitsch resigns from Pilgrim.

At the end of the school year in June, Mr. Riemer retires and moves to Milwaukee.

Pilgrim Lutheran School is accredited by the National Lutheran Schools Association.

Mr. Eugene Fiedler is installed as Principal on August 28.


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

1990's God Provides


Pastor Oldenburg accepts a call to North Carolina.

A call is extended to Pastor Spangler to become the Senior Pastor of Pilgrim.


The retired Rev. Carl Ehrfurth joins Pilgrim and serves part-time is various ways.

Rev. Gregory Hoffman is installed as Associate Pastor on September 19.


Cherie Theis is called to be the Director of Youth Ministry.

Rev. Bruce Blocker is contracted for limited Pastoral Service.

2000's A New Century of Blessings


Pastor Spangler accepts a call to Spring Grove, Illinois.

Mr. Gene Fiedler retires at the end of the school year.

Mr. Ken Longmire is installed as principal.

Mr. Bob Natzke joins Pilgrim Lutheran Church to serve as lay minister during the



In January, Pastor Hoffmann resigns as Associate Pastor.

Pastor Scott Malme is installed as Senior Pastor on September 9.


Pastor Hal Toenjes is installed as Associate Pastor on August 8.


In September Pilgrim opens its Daycare.


Pilgrim members Matt Baye and Matt Makela are contracted for Summer Pastoral Intern services.


D.C.E. Cherie Theis is married and moves to Enterprise, Alabama.


In June, Adam Parvey begins his service as Pilgrim’s first Vicar.

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


On March 25, 2007, Pilgrim holds its first worship service at a second site in the Howard Village Hall.

In August, Matt Canaday begins his service as Pilgrim’s second Vicar, and Adria Himmler begins her service as Director of Christian Education Intern.

Pilgrim celebrates its 50th Anniversary and on November 11, dedicates a new church facility which includes a sanctuary as well as eight rooms for classroom and meeting space. The former sanctuary becomes the Fellowship Hall.

Pilgrim has a membership of 2134 baptized and 1605 communicants.


In August, Michael Nielsen begins his service as Pilgrim’s third Vicar.


In August, Jonathan Ripke begins his service as Pilgrim’s fourth Vicar.

2010's Faithful Service


In August, Adam Koglin begins his service as Pilgrim’s fifth Vicar.


In August, P.J. Stohlman begins his service as Pilgrim’s sixth Vicar.


In August, Andrew Wilson begins his service as Pilgrim’s seventh Vicar.


In August, Joshua Reifsteck begins his service as Pilgrim’s eighth Vicar.

Pilgrim purchases the former Suamico Village Hall at Lakeview and Harbor Lights Road. The first worship service at the new site is held on December 1.


In August, Lee Hopf begins his service as Pilgrim’s ninth Vicar.


Mr. Ken Longmire retires as principal at the end of the school year.

On June 7, Mr. John Schultz is installed as Principal and Rebekah Schumacher is

installed as Director of Youth Ministry.

Nathan Spaulding begins his service as Pilgrim’s tenth Vicar.

Pilgrim Lutheran School becomes a part of Wisconsin School Choice.


Pastor Toenjes accepts a call to Bakeresfield, California.

Daniel Ondov begins his service as Pilgrim’s eleventh Vicar.


Joshua Grotelueschen begins his service as Pilgrim’s twelfth Vicar.

Pastor Michael Hanson is installed as Associate Pastor on August 20.


Colin Moon begins his service as Pilgrim’s thirteenth Vicar.


Connor Wondrash begins his service as Pilgrim's fourteenth Vicar.

2020's Looking Forward


DCE Rebekah Schumacher marries former Vicar Nathan Spaulding and is now Rebekah Spaulding.

Colby Howell begins his service as Pilgrim's fifteenth Vicar.


Joshua Duncan begins his service as Pilgrim's sixteenth Vicar.


John Schultz retires as principal.

Dante Pronsati begins his service as Pilgrim's seventeenth Vicar.

Pilgrim Lutheran School has an enrollment of 280+ from Pre-Kindergarten through Eighth grade.