The History of West Middleton Lutheran Church
Rooted in Christ
In the 1850’s German immigrants and “Yankees” from the East Coast began settling the area now known as Middleton Township. To make Christ known in 1854, a group of German Evangelicals began meeting in area homes. In 1872 the small congregation decided to build a sandstone brick church and plot out a cemetery on the northeast corner of Mineral Point and Pioneer roads. Thus, Zion Evangelical Church of Middleton was built so that members could gather in worship and serve the rural community.
The little church, where men sat on one side and women on the other, served its members well until the 1920s, when times were not easy and travel was difficult. Securing pastors to serve the small and rather isolated location was a problem, and for several years the church stood vacant. Then in the late 1920s, members of the Dahlk, Voss, and Stucki families gathered to organize Sunday School for children of area families. The congregation grew, and pastors from Reformed, Methodist, and Lutheran denominations were contracted to provide Sunday services.
In 1929, the Zion congregation asked Hector Gunderson, a young Lutheran pastor serving Mt. Horeb, to conduct services and provide pastoral care for the congregation. Under Pastor Gunderson’s leadership, the congregation continued to grow in spirit and numbers. It was officially incorporated as a Lutheran church in 1934. Pastor Gunderson served our Lutheran congregation for twenty years during which time he baptized, confirmed, and married some of today’s parishioners.
By the late 1950s the congregation had outgrown its facilities. After several meetings to discuss what to do and how to proceed, it was decided to build a larger church across the road on land donated by Eldon and Dorothy Dahlk. Although the location changed, the congregation remained rooted in Christ. At its dedication on November 1, 1961, the church’s congregation was formally incorporated as West Middleton Lutheran Church and accepted as a congregation of the American Lutheran Church.
The floor plan for the 1961 facility included plans for expansion. The main room where worship would take place was designed to become a multi-use area once a larger sanctuary was constructed “in a few years.” The visionary leaders of the late 1950s and early 1960s constructed the building on one level so that expansion could be achieved for the least possible cost, and the building would be easily accessible to everyone. With growth in mind, the congregation purchased an additional 1.5 acres in 1965 to bring the site up to its current size of 2.5 acres.
During the early 1960s, West Middleton Lutheran Church was served by several pastors, all of whom were on a part-time basis while covering other parishes. In 1967, Pastor Curtis P. Everson accepted the call to serve WMLC on a part-time basis while taking graduate courses at UW-Madison. Assuming full-time status a short time later, Pastor Everson faithfully served our congregation for over thirty years. During Pastor Everson’s tenure, the congregation’s ministry continued to expand. An educational wing was added in 1970, the front of the sanctuary was remodeled in 1980, and further renovation (to accommodate increased membership and staff) was completed in 1990. With this additional space and staff, the congregation expanded on its historically strong youth and family ministries begun in the 1920s.
a New day emerges
In the fall of 1998 Pastor David Brandfass accepted the call and began his ministry at West Middleton Lutheran Church. As our dedicated pastor, Pastor Brandfass provided the vibrant leadership that kept our faith strong and our energy boundless. With God's help we strove to be a fellowship that is active in worship, dedicated to discipleship, and caring in service.
On October 31, 2004 West Middleton Lutheran Church celebrated 150 years of ministry at the corner of Mineral Point and Pioneer Roads. This ministry that has been alive for 150 years, continues to grow throughout the community and looks forward to another 150 years of ministry.
Pastor Ted Lindquist began his ministry at West Middleton Lutheran Church in July of 2013.
Pastor Ted describes his call and presence at West Middleton Lutheran Church as a
"grace-filled miracle." "Sometimes God’s call is unanticipated, unexpected, and catches you off guard. That’s what happened here. I wasn’t searching for a call to parish ministry, the search came to me. Then the people of this church and the opportunities for ministry here sort of filled my heart and I realized I was being energized by something larger than myself. God has called me and the people of this congregation into a partnership of ministry. I’m looking forward to the time ahead."
With a wonderful history behind us, and Christ walking before us, the congregation now looks forward to being an alive and forward-looking Christian family dedicated to Christian growth and mission. We have not arrived; we are in the midst of a pilgrimage with a strong tradition behind us and an open future ahead. We are eager for new ideas, new commitments, and new people to help us on our way.