Trinity Lutheran Church

Influx of young people keeps Trinity vibrant

April 14, 2009

Denomination: Lutheran

Location: 1052 White Rock Ave.

Contact: (262) 547-5350

Web site:

Education & Worship: Pastor Larry Gates

Outreach & Spiritual Care: Pastor Scott Oelhafen

Administration & Spiritual Renewal: Pastor Glen Schaumberg

Service Times: 5:30 p.m. Saturday; 7:45, 9:15 and 10:45 a.m. Sunday; worship services are on Waukesha cable television four times a week

Service format: "Our worship services blend contemporary and traditional," said Pastor Scott Oelhafen. "Sometimes I use DVDs or preach with PowerPoint."

Members: "We have 1,700 members," said Pastor Oelhafen. "About 750 attend each week. We are expecting about 1,100 for Easter."

Early History: In September 1886 Pastor of St. Mark's Lutheran Church of Watertown, Johannes Brockmann, was traveling through Waukesha. At the present Five Points he struck up a conversation with a woman of German Lutheran stock. When he identified himself as a German Lutheran pastor, she expressed concern that there was no Lutheran church in the village . True missionary that he was, Pastor Brockmann proceeded to question her about other German Lutherans in the village. With the names that she supplied and encouraged by further investigation, he announced the beginning of services.

Recent history:

1994 – Full-day child care for ages 2 through 6 started

2002 – A $4.2 million project was completed in February. The renovation doubled the seating capacity of the church from 350 to 700 and added classrooms and labs to the school.

"We used to be more of a neighborhood church, but now we are more of a regional church," said Pastor Oelhafen. "Many people come back even after they move away from the area … once people see how friendly and welcoming we are, they stay."

The membership is always changing. "We are very diverse in ages with a number of senior members, whom we reach out to. Lately, we've had an influx of younger people. Ten new families joined at Easter," said Pastor Oelhafen. "A number of Carroll University students have joined."

One of the fastest growing organizations at the church is the 20-Something Group.

They have a variety of activities – service projects, networking," said Pastor Oelhafen. "It is for both single and married people."

Trinity also has "an aggressive outreach" program, said Pastor Oelhafen. "Our New Resident Committee welcomes new residents to the neighborhood."


20-Something Group led by Rachel Malkuch,

Baptism Ministry led by coordinator Rachel Huntington ("We are willing to baptize any baby," said Pastor Oelhafen.)

Pre-school ministry led by teacher Joyce Baer

Royal Brass (6-piece horns that play monthly) led by Rod Clouse

Upcoming Events:

Trinity Music Festival – All musicians, instrumentalists and children will participate in regular services on Sunday, May 3

Spring music program "I Love the'50s" presented by K-4 students; 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7

Summer Bible Class Video Series – Free 12-week Bible class covers the whole Bible; for non-members and new people; starts 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, in the conference room; call (262) 547-5350 to register.

What's New: Pastor Oelhafen is currently in the Holy Land leading a group of 24 people. Many of the group will also travel to Jordan and Egypt. "It is the ultimate Bible class," said Pastor Oelhafen, who will make a presentation on his trip at the church in late May.


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