History of Christ Our Redeemer Ev. Lutheran Church
In 1965, two Wisconsin Synod mission congregations in Denver, Mt. Olive (formed in 1939), and Pilgrim (formed in 1947), amalgamated. The resulting church was named Christ Our Redeemer. The newly amalgamated congregation extended a call to Pastor Bittorf, who at the time was serving as Pastor of the Pilgrim congregation. Pastor Bittorf accepted the call.
Land was purchased at 295 South Locust Street in Denver and ground breaking services for the new facility were held on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1966. Construction began on June 30 and the cornerstone was laid on November 21, 1966. Dedication was held on March 12, 1967. A parsonage was constructed next to the church in the fall of 1967.
1968 saw the opening of the Christian Day School. Venita Schrupp was installed as the first teacher. August of 1968 saw the calling of Pastor Bittorf to his heavenly home. Six months later, Pastor Larry Ellenberger was installed. At the same time, Ruth Klement was called to serve as emergency teacher.
The 1970’s included several staffing changes. In 1971, Margaret Rutschow was installed as a second teacher. In 1974, Venita Schrupp accepted a call elsewhere and was replaced by Mary Kuehl. Pastor Ellenberger accepted a call elsewhere and was replaced by Pastor Timothy Bauer. Pastor Bauer was installed in June of 1979. In September of 1979, Kathryn Zimmerman was called to replace Mary Kuehl as the upper grade teacher.
In 1982, Kathryn Zimmerman resigned her call to marry Mark Maurer. In September of 1982, Dean Johnson was installed as the new upper grade teacher.
In March of 1984, God moved the voters to choose to relocate to the Aurora area pending an acceptable purchase offer for the present facilities. A purchase offer was received and on April 1985, God again moved the voters to decide to relocate to Aurora. After an extensive search, a three acre site at Iliff and Telluride was purchased. The final worship service at the Locust Street facility was held on December 1985. Temporary worship facilities were arranged at a nearby public middle school. This “temporary” arrangement lasted for four years. Day School classes were held in rented facilities across the street from the newly purchased land.
In September of 1988, Kim Lowers was called as the part-time Kindergarten teacher. With the Lord’s guidance, construction began on the initial building phase in June of 1989. This phase included classrooms, an office, and a temporary worship area. That same year, Kim Lowers was called as the third full-time teacher.
The first worship service in the new facility was held in December of 1989. The Dedication Service was held in February of 1990.
In 1991, Pastor James Schulz was installed replacing Pastor Bauer who had accepted a call to Bethany, Hustisford, Wisconsin. In August of 1995, Pastor Mark Voss was installed replacing Pastor Schulz who had accepted a call to David’s Star, Jackson, Wisconsin.
Formal planning for a new sanctuary began shortly after Pastor Voss’ arrival. Groundbreaking for the new sanctuary was held on August 1998 with the dedication on August of 1999.
With the retirement of Pastor Voss in 2020, a call was extended to Tom Engelbrecht. Pastor Engelbrecht was installed August 16, 2020.
A call was extended to Chris Avery to serve as our school’s Principal. Mr. Avery was installed August 1, 2021. Calls were also extended to Jackie Engelbrecht to serve as the Preschool Director and Jean Avery to serve as the teacher for grades 3-4. Both were installed August 1, 2021.
Christ Our Redeemer church and school are blessed with one Pastor, four full-time teachers, and one full-time office manager. The church serves 269 souls, 223 communicant members, and over 50 students.