a brief history of hope lutheran church

Written by kay Cooke

In January of 1964 the voters of Peace Ev. Lutheran Church in Wilmot WI, and the council of

St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church in Slades Corners, WI, approved a recommendation to explore the possibility of holding worship services in Twin Lakes.  

This idea became a reality when the first worship service was held on Sunday, June 14, 1964, in the former Cottage School.    The service was conducted by Rev. George Enderle, pastor of Peace Ev. Lutheran Church, who continued to shepherd both congregations until he accepted a call to Kenosha in 1969.  The first Sunday School classes were held in September of that year. 

In the year that followed, the congregation began taking steps to organize into a corporation and on July 15, 1965 the congregation was incorporated according to the laws of the state of Wisconsin.  

On June 22, 1966, Hope Ev. Lutheran Church was accepted as a member of the

Wisconsin Ev. Lutheran Synod.

On January 1, 1966, services were moved to the Twin Lakes Village Hall.  On July 13, 1966, Hope purchased two parcels of land on Hunt and Martin Ave. from John Richter and Gus Neuman.  

It was a total of 2.2 acres with a house for $15,300.

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Pastor Arthur Valerio was called by Peace and Hope to become their pastor.  It was during this time that a small chapel was built on Hunt Avenue.  It was a modular unit and the cost of that building was $20,850.  It had a seating capacity of 80-90 people. The pews and baptismal font were given to Hope by St. John's in Slades Corners. This new church was dedicated on July 16, 1972.  There were 45 communicant members at this time.  

Pastor Lloyd Wenzel became Pastor of Peace and Hope in 1974.  He tried endlessly to acquire mission status from the Synod so Hope could call their own Pastor.  He felt this was essential for the growth of Hope.  However, it was not God's will at this time.

Pastor George Swanson was installed as pastor of Peace and Hope on Jule 17, 1984. During this time plans for a new church were started.  Pastor Swanson accepted a call to Tennessee in 1993.  


The voters of Peace, with the Lord's guidance, made the decision that it was time for Hope to stand on her own.  It is here that we remember Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him."  God had great plans for Hope.

By a leap of faith, the members of Hope voted not to close our doors, but to call our own pastor.  On January 16, 1994, Gerry Kuhnke was ordained and installed as the first Pastor of Hope Lutheran Church.

Attendance began to grow and our little chapel (now 25 years old and only a temporary church) was beginning to fall apart.  It was apparent that a decision needed to be made concerning the building of a new church.  

The voters decided to sell the land and parsonage and look for a new location. Both the land and the parsonage were sold in a very short time.  Meanwhile, the Lord guided two local residents to offer donations of land.  The voters chose to accept the four acres of land offered by Ken and Pat Rosenhauer on Lance Drive.


Building the church still seemed almost impossible, but on every occasion the Holy Spirit touched our hearts to meet the many challenges put before us.  On April 30, 1995, despite the cold, windy weather, 100 members of Hope gathered for the ground breaking ceremony of our new church and parsonage.

On Wednesdy, November 22, 1995 (Thanksgiving Eve), after a short fellowship, we left our little chapel on Hunt Avenue for the last time.  We drove to 876 Lance Drive and held the first service in our new house of worship.  

Five pastors planted the seed, the Holy Spirit watered, and God alone has given Hope our ever growing congregation.

We are thankful that the Lord has taken us this far, and we have His promise that He will continue to be with us wherever He may lead us.

Building Hope slideshow can be viewed below.