From Humble Beginnings
St. Michael Evangelical Lutheran Church was established in September of 1953. Fifty-four families, members of Redeemer Lutheran Church, wanted a place of worship closer to their homes in the Time Corners area. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s English District Mission Board purchased 26.5 acres of land on Getz Road and a former barracks building to launch the new congregation. The first worship service was held in the building on February 7, 1954, led by Reverend Herbert Lindemann. By June 1954, the congregation called Reverend Bernard Hemmeter as pastor, where he served until his retirement 14 years later.
By fall 1954, St. Michael Lutheran School began kindergarten classes. On September 22, 1957 (St. Michael Day), the cornerstone for a new church building was laid, and the first worship was held in the new sanctuary (the “A-frame”) on May 15, 1958. Steady growth in the congregation and school led to a joint venture with Emmanuel Lutheran Church in 1961, which was the beginning of Emmanuel-St. Michael School (ESM) located at Union Street.
With more than 500 baptized souls and 350 communicant members in 1968, the congregation called Reverend Donald Meyers as pastor. In 1974, a fire destroyed the original building, by then in use as an educational outreach center. That same year, pre-school classes for three- to five-year-old children were offered.
In 1978, Reverend Robert Bruckner accepted a call to serve at St. Michael. Continued congregational growth led to the calling of an associate pastor, Reverend Wayne Berkesch, in 1986. The addition of an education wing in 1989 allowed the first ESM class to be located at the Getz Road campus. A vacancy in the associate pastor position led to Reverend David Moore accepting a call to St. Michael in 1995. By 2001, another addition to the education building was completed, and K-2 were now housed at the Getz Road campus.
A Time for Changes
St. Michael experienced major changes in 2007. After nearly 30 years of service, Reverend Bruckner retired in November 2007, served as Pastor Emeritus until 2011, and then retired again. Reverend Matt Switzer came to serve as pastor from February 2008 to January 2012. He accepted a call to Trinity, Walnut Creek, CA in January 2012. Reverend Ben Bruns served as a vicar in 2008, assistant pastor in 2009, and accepted a call as our Associate Pastor in 2010. Reverend Ben Bruns accepted a call to St. Stephen, Waterford, MI in May 2013. We relied upon Revered Robert Hedtke and Reverend Jerrold Nichols and members to lead us until Reverend R. Reed Lessing accepted our call in August 2013. He was installed September 8, 2013. In April of 2017, Shawn Davis, was called to our missional pastor from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He was ordained and installed on June 17, 2017.
We continue to thank and praise the Lord for all His blessings on this church, school and our community!