On June 2, 2002 this congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary of ministry in this community. In those hundred years we have moved, built, remodeled, grown and changed with the changing times. However, the original purpose of this congregation--to provide worship, fellowship and service in a language that people can understand--has not changed.

On Sunday, June 1, 1901 English-language Lutheran services were offered in Platteville for the first time. The following day June 2, 56 adults were moved to sign a charter to open First English Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Rev. George P. Kabele, Chicago, IL presided over the opening of the congregation. The first action of the congregation was to establish a Sunday School.

The congregation’s first house of worship was located on Bonson Street next to the City Hall. When, in 1927, the City Hall was damaged in a fire, the congregation sold the Bonson Street facility to the city for City Hall re-building and expansion. The cornerstone for a new church on Pine Street was laid on September 9, 1928. At that time, the congregation had 350 confirmed members. The church was dedicated on May 5, 1929.

The sanctuary was designed in the Oxford style. (Three churches of this style were built in Wisconsin during this period of time. Ours is the only one of those churches still in use.) The church incurred $10,000 in debt to build the new church. But in 1929 when the stock market crashed, they were able to make very little progress on the mortgage. In 1942 the last mortgage payment was finally made and a mortgage-burning ceremony held.

After much growth in ministry and numbers, an education and fellowship wing was added to the church in 1956. A major remodeling and building project was completed again in 1999 with the addition of education, fellowship and office space and remodeling of the sanctuary.

Over the years this congregation has expended energy, prayer and financial wealth on missions both international and domestic, ministry with university students, educational ministries, care for the needy in our community, and worship. As we approach the centennial of the congregation, we are focusing on renewed education and community service ministries. We are also working to insure that our worship continues to speak to people in a language they understand, and in ways that encourage growth in faith.

Rev. H. K. Gebhart
Sept 1902-Aug 1908

Rev. Edgar Anderson
Mar 1979-Dec 1981

Rev. Lloyd W. Steckel
Feb 1909-Apr 1914

Rev. David Berggren
Nov 1984-Aug 1995

Rev. Harrison C. Rex
May 1914-Aug 1915

Rev. Thomas Berlage
Sept 1986-Jan 1990

Rev. F. R. Webber
Fall 1915-Mar 1917

Rev. JoAnn Post
Feb 1995-June 2005

Rev. E. M. Bakken
Dec 1917-Dec 1920

Rev. Clark M. Kilgard
Dec 1997-May 1999

Rev. R. R. Doering
Oct 1 1920-Oct 1 1967

Rev. Joel Q. Ley
Oct 2000-Oct 2005

Rev. D. Alan Davis
Nov 1964-Apr 1967

Rev. Terry L. Larson
July 2005-Sept 2006

Rev. Ken Merckx
Apr 1967-Jan 1984

Rev. Michael J. Short
Oct 2006-Dec 2018

Rev. Jasmine Tesdahl
Oct 2016-Nov 2017

A Congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
A Congregation within the South Central Synod of Wisconsin

215 W. Pine, Platteville, WI 53818

Phone: 608 - 348 - 3022 | Fax: 608 - 348 - 5511 | E-mail: felcoffice@centurytel.net