Connections Hour: 9:00 a.m.
Worship Service: 10:30 a.m.
 


An attempt was made to start a Lutheran Brethren church in Menomonie way back in 1976 and Roy and Dee Christianson were involved with the purchase of 15 acres of land on the south side of Menomonie just across from what is now Homers trailer court. The property was surrounded by a high oak covered ridge and that is where the name Oak Ridge Lutheran Brethren Church came from. After a couple of months the small group disbanded and Oak Ridge lay dormant until about 1984 when Pastor Al Eskin suggested that two couples attending Bethany Church in Colfax start a Bible study in Menomonie in hopes of restarting the church. Roy and Dee recalled they were attending Bethesda in Eau Claire at the time and thought it would be nice to have a church in Menomonie so they participated in the studies. Many of the early meetings were held at the homes of Bryan and Carol Paur and Dean and Jill Hestekin.

In June of 1985 Pastor Jim Folz, then in Arizona, was called to Menomonie as the pioneering Pastor of Oak Ridge Lutheran Brethren Church. The first meeting was held in the home of Arlen and Sue Henke on June 7th 1985 with three couples present. The very next Sunday June 14th 1985 River Heights School was rented and Pastor Folz preached his first sermon with 17 people in attendance. Roy recalls that they didn’t have a piano player at that time so Pastor Folz played his guitar to accompany the singing and it went well. Every Sunday there was special prayer for someone to play and it wasn’t long until a pianist offered to play.

The congregation then began renting the church from the Southern Baptist Church. Soon after the Baptist Church purchased another building in Altoona. Then in Feb. of 1987 the congregation moved across the street from the school and occupied what has since been the home of Oak Ridge Lutheran Brethren Church. In preparation for the move a wall in the then back of the church was taken down, some wall papering in the kitchen was redone and a good deal of painting throughout the church was accomplished by the willing hands of the small congregation. There were a few stories about the seating in the church, some remember the theatre type seats that would fold up and more than a few times one of the children would stand up on the back part of the seat and then quickly disappear as the seat would fold up and down they would go.

What started as a Bible study is today a living, breathing church that will by the Grace of God continue to preach the gospel, sharing the Word that offers forgiveness, hope, and encouragement to all.