In the early 1990s, the members of the Western Wisconsin District Mission Board (DMB) envisioned a new mission church to serve one of the growing communities around Wausau, Wis. Rib Mountain and Kronenwetter were both excellent candidates. The DMB went with Rib Mountain, and it was a decision the Lord of the Church richly blessed. Today, Mountain of the Lord Lutheran Church is a healthy congregation faithfully proclaiming God’s love for sinners through Christ.
But who would have known that all along God, “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4), also had plans for a mission church in Kronenwetter?
Fast forward to the summer of 2018. At the Western Wisconsin District Convention, the DMB challenged all the circuits in the district to offer the names of cities, towns, and villages for outreach and mission work. Many were submitted. Do you want to guess one of the places suggested? Yep, it was Kronenwetter. God had a plan for this community and its people to hear the gospel’s sweet message.
About 18 months later, a member of the DMB met with a few godly, mission-minded men from the area and a multi-congregation task force was formed. Using resources from WELS Home Missions, it began to explore the feasibility of starting a new mission in Kronenwetter. Five WELS churches in the Wausau area committed themselves to actively supporting this effort with prayers, offerings, and manpower. From those congregations, a committed core group was assembled that would use the campus of Northland Lutheran High School. Not only was Northland in the center of the target area, but doing so would save the fledgling mission thousands of dollars. Was this dream about to become a reality?
In the spring of 2022, the Western Wisconsin DMB brought a formal request to the Board for Home Missions for subsidized mission status for Kronenwetter, but it was deferred. The core group was resilient and continued to meet for Bible study, fellowship, and finding ways to serve the community. A live nativity was held at Northland’s campus in December. Hundreds came and heard the good news of the Word becoming flesh to secure for all people the forgiveness from sin and the gift of eternal salvation.
In March 2023, another request was brought to the Board for Home Missions. This time it was approved! By God’s grace, Kronenwetter is one of the newest missions in our synodwide effort to start 100 new missions in the next 10 years. We’re grateful for God’s blessing and the offerings of his people that have allowed this mission to become a reality.
All along, our Savior envisioned this mission church in Kronenwetter, Wis. Please pray for his blessings for this new mission and the students of Northland who will play a key role in the congregation’s outreach. Please also consider a gift to the Home Mission Fund to support this and other home missions as well as those the Lord has planned for the future. How exciting to watch as his plans unfold!
Pastor Jeffrey P. Mahnke
Chairman, Western Wisconsin District Mission Board
Prayer: Lord God, we pray for our new home mission in Kronenwetter, Wis., near Northland Lutheran High School. Continue to energize the core group of members from area churches including some Northland students. Thank you for the opportunity for these younger members to help take the lead in this mission work. Enable everyone to grow in their Christian faith and their witness through this experience. We pray that you would guide this new church as they seek to call a pastor and start public worship at the high school. Amen.