In the fall of 1866, a young theologian -- the Rev. G. Theile -- along with a group calling themselves "Temperance Lutherans," formed the Evangelical Lutheran Grace Church in Ripon.

At first, the small group rented a hall and later purchased a small house on Mayparty Hill now known as Hamburg Street.  This building served as a church, parsonage and schoolhouse. As membership grew, they soon outgrew their building. The former Congregational church building was for sale and Grace Church purchased it for $900.

In November 1887, it was voted to build a new church. The church on Ransom Street was dedicated July 1888. By 1950, Grace had outgrown the church on Ransom Street, using buses and the parish house for Sunday School classes. Plans were made to build a new church at the present location on Griswold Street in Ripon. It was dedicated February 14, 1960.

 

 

Pastors of Grace Church 1866-2013

1866              Rev. G. Thiele

1866 - 1872  Rev. E. Mayerhoff

1872 - 1876  Rev. G. Holzel

1876 - 1878  Rev. A. Leifeldt

1878 - 1889  Rev. J. Westenberger

1889 - 1893  Rev. J. Deindoefer

1893 - 1903  Rev. A. Zimmermann

1903 - 1905  Rev. H. Hafermann

1905 - 1909  Rev. S. Fuchs

1909 - 1940  Rev. A. Pilger

1940 - 1951  Rev. W. Schlachtenhaufen

1951 - 1988  Rev. C. L. Stubenvoll

1961 - 1975  Rev. C. F. Stubenvoll - Asst. Pastor

1976 - 1985  Rev. A. H. Adams - Asst. Pastor

1985 - 1986  Intern S. Steiner

1986 - 1987  Intern B. Falksen

1988 - 1989  Rev. J. Diemer - Interim

1989 - 1994  Rev. D. Peterson

1994 - 1995  Rev. R. Collier - Interim

1996 - 2004  Rev. P. Holte

1999 - 2002  Rev. J. Stansfield - Asst. Pastor

2003 - 2011   Rev. S. Krynik - Supply Pastor

2004 - 2006 Rev. A. Schaffmeyer - Interim

2006 - 2010  Rev. M. Schaus

2006 - 2010  Rev. K. Taylor-Schaus - Asst. Pastor

2011 -  2016 Rev. B. Buslaff - Supply Pastor

2011 - Present  Rev. Clay Salmela

2012 - 2015   Sue Mokler, Youth and Family

2015 - Present  Jenny Schram, Youth and Family

Highlights

1872  All Teaching, preaching, and meeting used German

1897  Organ purchased - hand pumped until motor installed in 1914

1898  Bell installed in tower

1916  Building electrified

1923  Resolved; one English service a month

1926  Resolved; two English services a month

1927  Resolved; English service every other Sunday

1932  Regular ushers

1935  First choir robes

1940  Vote to give women the right to vote 45-22

1940  Children's choir organized; 24 members

1941  Voted for men and women to commune together

1944  All communicants be served from one and same common cup

1950  Renamed Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ripon

1960  February 7 - last worship on Ransom Street

1960  February 14 - dedication service at Griswold Street

1977  Grace preschool opens

1984  Original steeple bell donated to Grace Church

1986  Bell tower erected for the original 1898 bell

1996  Fire gravely damages church

2004  First living nativity

2005  First Thanksgiving dinner prepared for community

2006 Husband-wife team as new pastors of Grace Church

2011 Pastor Clay Salmela called to pastor at Grace

2012  Sharing Table was created with other community churches

2016 Celebrated 150 years of GRACE

2017 Continued Sharing Table on the 2nd Tuesday of each month