“St. Martini Lutheran Church and School continue to move forward in its goal of showing God’s love and forgiveness.”
Rev. Alfonso Prada
On May 13, 2017, St. Martini Lutheran Church celebrated 130 years of ministry. A special worship service was held with members and past members to thank God for blessings received. Rev. Dr. John Wille, South Wisconsin District President, preached the sermon. “Times have certainly changed since this congregation first began. Times have changed since this area was settled by immigrants from Germany. The new immigrants have arrived. Hispanic immigrants from a variety of countries. And you are reaching out to them through the LUMIN school and through the ministry of this congregation. That is an amazing shift. Amazing! I give thanks for the members who recognized this opportunity a few years ago. I give thanks to our gracious Lord Jesus that a new generation of immigrants is emerging in this congregation…Word and Sacrament. As a congregation, you are ‘Confessing Christ for the Next Generation.’ That is both an awesome privilege and an exciting opportunity.”
Following worship, more than 80 people enjoyed a meal together at St. Martini’s school.
“Recently, after eight months of preparation, 15 members of the Church graduated as new leaders of our Congregation,” Pastor Prada shared. “The goal is to form teams to carry out the planning of special activities, leading Sunday school, making visitations to the sick and new members, and the training of new members.”
In September of 2013 Pastor Alfonso Prada was installed as the new pastor of St. Martini. He is the first Hispanic pastor in the history of the congregation. Previously, Pastor Prada served in Venezuela for seven years at El Salvador Lutheran Church in Caracas. Pastor Prada graduated from Juan de Frias Seminary.
From the very moment of his installation at St. Martini, Rev. Prada has worked to build a solid working relationship with the Principal of the school, Mrs. Julieane Cook. Lutheran Urban Missions Initiative, Inc. (LUMIN) assisted in uniting the efforts of the school and church in order to bring the Word of God to the families of their school. LUMIN provided supportive educational activities and helped with the promotion of the formation of the Hispanic congregation at St. Martini.
St. Martini Lutheran Church and School continuously work together and are realizing great blessings. Since 2013 there have been more than 20 baptisms and 24 new adult members have been confirmed. Twenty families of the school have been reached with the gospel along with other members from the community. Another initiative was the planning of several workshops. The topics included: Christian living; marriage workshops; building self-esteem; bullying, etc. Pastor also prepares weekly chapels for the school, devotionals and Bible studies; he has counseling sessions with members and visits the sick and shut-ins, along with many other activities.
In honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, St. Martini Church and School have various activities and events planned in August through October. School chapels, religion classes, and morning devotions will detail our strong Lutheran heritage. October 7th there will be a health fair for the community. On October 20th and 29th there will be bilingual Lutheran Church services.
St. Martini has a strong history. The church opened its doors in 1884 with the help of St. Stephen Lutheran Church. The school also started in 1884 in order to provide quality education to Lutherans and others in the community. St. Martini has been blessed with 8 pastors: Rev. Gotthold H.A. Lieberman (1884-1939), Rev. Arthur H. Oswald (1939-1967), Rev. Albert Bahrain (1952-1955), Rev. Martin E. Drews (1962-1994), Rev. Lowell D. Bolts (1986-1997), and Rev. Jerome A. Stecker (1997-2012).
“St. Martini Lutheran Church and School continue to move forward in its goal of showing God’s love and forgiveness.” Rev. Alfonso Prada.
We ask that you keep the ministry of St. Martini in your prayers. If you would like to support the ministry at St. Martini with a monetary donation, click the “Donate” button below to make an online gift (select “2017 Hispanic Appeal”). Or you can contact Barb Slak at the district office at 414-292-0745 for a credit card donation. If you prefer to mail your gift, send it to the South Wisconsin District, 8100 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee, WI 53222. Please include “St. Martini” in the memo line of your check. Thank You!
If you would like to visit St. Martini, please contact Pastor Prada at 414-645-4094. All are welcome to worship at St. Martini. Worship times are 10:00 a.m. on Sundays and 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays.