Church History

Zion Lutheran Church has been around for a LONG, long time (over a 130 years!). Here is a brief Timeline of Zion's major events and milestones...



– Founded in Milwaukee as a daughter congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church.
– First church and school building dedicated at 21st St. and North Ave.


– School opened with 94 pupils and one teacher on January 15.
– First meeting of members to constitute congregation on February 17.
– First officers elected and Constitution approved on March 9.
– Incorporation Papers delivered and read to congregation on April 6.


– Zion was granted membership in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS).


– Due to overcrowding at Zion, Emmaus Lutheran Church was founded as a daughter congregation.


– Due to continued overcrowding at Zion, Nazareth Lutheran was founded as a daughter congregation.


– 8th Grade was added to the school.


– First services in English were held.


– New school building was erected on the site of the old building.


– Sunday School was started.


– Congregation began a $140,000 property improvement plan.


– Decision was made to relocate to Lisbon Rd. site in Menomonee Falls.


– Groundbreaking at new site on February 9th.
– Final service at the old location on June 29, 1969.
– Dedication of new building on December 14.


– German services discontinued; more land bought (bringing to a total of about ten acres).


– School building was expanded and the gym erected.


– The Child Care ministry was begun in two rooms in the school wing.


– The Child Care wing was erected and the program greatly expanded.


1883 - 1895

– Rev. John Schuette

1895 - 1931

– Rev. William Matthes

1931 - 1945

– Rev. Paul H. Born

1942 - 1982

– Rev. Henry C. Tesch

1945 - 1955

– Rev. Ottomar Schaefer

1955 - 1963

– Rev. John Schmidt

1963 - 1966

– Rev. William Otto

1982 - 2001

– Rev. David Paape

2000 - 2006

– Rev. Matthew Roeglin

2007 - 2012

– Rev. Timothy Lamkin

2012 – 2022

– Rev. Michael D. Pfingsten

History of the LCMS

Here is a brief article on the history of the LCMS (Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, our parent church body). It is posted Here.

The roots of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod run deep, tracing back to 1847 when Saxon and other German immigrants established a new church body in America, seeking the freedom to practice and follow confessional Lutheranism.

Initial members, which included 12 pastors representing 14 congregations from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan, New York and Ohio, signed the church body’s constitution on April 26, 1847, at First Saint Paul Lutheran Church in Chicago, Ill.

Originally named The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio and Other States, the name was shortened to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in 1947 on the occasion of our 100th anniversary.

Over the years, hundreds of books chronicling the Synod’s rich history have been written. One of the most comprehensive is Zion on the Mississippi.

The First President of the LCMS

The Rev. Dr. C.F.W. Walther (October 25, 1811 – May 7, 1887) served as the first president of the church body. As a young pastor, Walther joined the Saxon Germans who immigrated to the United States in 1839, and at the age of only 27 found himself leader of the group that settled in Perry County, Missouri. Dr. Walther played a key role in the founding of the LCMS in 1847, and he served as the church body’s first president, holding office from 1847 to 1850 and again from 1864 to 1878.

Walther presided over the young Synod, leading its growth through the years of the great migration of German immigrants, serving as president of Concordia Seminary from 1850 to 1887, and serving as editor of Der Lutheraner, a leading magazine of the day that reached confessional Lutherans across the country. Today, Walther is revered as the leading Lutheran theologian of his time, and he’s fondly known as the "Father of the Missouri Synod.” Read more about Walther.