All Saints celebrates walking humbly for 30 years
In the early years of All Saints Lutheran Church some children called the church the "ice cream church" since they could get ice cream after the service, which was held in the basement of the Genesee Professional Building. Eight families worked to paint the area before the first service on a sub-zero January day in 1982. Since then the church spent time at Magee Elementary School, using a table as the altar before building its current facility on Highway E near Highway 83.
As parishioners celebrate the church's 30th anniversary on Nov. 4 with a 10:30 a.m. celebration service following the regular service at 8:15 a.m. and an anniversary banquet at 11:45 a.m., they will walk under the entry lintel inscribed with the anniversary theme of "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God," which was a gift from member Lorraine Jahnke. Entertainment will also be provided by Fishsticks, a Christian comedy group, at 1 p.m.
Housed in the Genesee Professional Building, owned by Clarence Bundy, from 1982 to May 1985, Bundy gave the lower level to the church at no cost, even opening his Genesee home for vacation bible school and Seder meals, setting up tents outside near the house for the bible school. In November 1982, All Saints became affiliated with the Lutheran Church of America, becoming the second largest mission congregation developed that year.
However, as the parish continued to grow, it outgrew its space and moved to Magee Elementary School in Genesee Depot in May 1985.
Although the Synod purchased land along Highway D for a new church, All Saints parishioners felt the church would be better located along Highway 83 since it was a main artery through the area. Construction of the new church began in 1987 but shortly after completion, Highway 83 was widened and moved, bypassing All Saints.
A downpour moved the ground-breaking ceremony for the new church to the Magee gym with a bucket of dirt from the actual site. As the church was constructed, members young and old helped.
A wedding marked the first event in the new church. The day before the wedding the bride helped scrape and clean windows, making sure the altar, pulpit and chairs were set up for the ceremony.
In May 1988, Pastor Dave Pettersen, worship and music chairman Jim Kozminski, council president Al Theis, building committee chairman Dan Johnson and youth representatives Dan Follmer and Liesl started at Magee Elementary each carrying an item for the first service in the new church, processed from Magee to the church. The congregation waited at the church, singing "Lift High the Cross" as the procession entered the building.
As the congregation celebrates 30 years, Rev. Roy Nelson said, the celebration is "not all about us," but rather the many missions the parish takes part in including housing the Kettle Moraine Food Pantry and blood drives held in the gym.
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