A shared purpose through mission and ministry

Pilgrim is here by God's grace to serve our neighbor with Christ's love.

About Us

Since our founding, Pilgrim Ev. Lutheran Church has given thanks to God for His faithfulness and love to us in His Son, Jesus Christ, and continues to trust in Him to work through His Word and Spirit for the salvation of souls through all we do in service to each other, the community, and the world.

On December 19, 1929, Pilgrim congregation organized with 9 voting members (P. Bierwagen, J.W.C. Bischoff, E. Drews, E. Esser, G. Jahnke, I. Kroening, H. Loppnow, E. Niermann, and H. Thoke), 34 Communicant Members, and 48 souls. Pilgrim’s first resident pastor, Rev. Elmer Zanow, was installed on February 1, 1931. He served until 1940. The first permanent school building was completed on October 31, 1932. Church services were also held there. Rev. Felix Kretzschmar was installed in 1940 and served until 1973. Ground was broken for the current Church building in 1949. It was completed in 1950. After Rev. Kretzschmar, Pilgrim was served by Rev. Arthur Bruning (1964–1966), Rev. Ingolf Larsen (1967–1969), Rev. Kenneth Potratz (1970–1999), Rev. Daniel Piel (1973–1975), Rev. Paul Peckman (1976–2015), and Rev. Tom Reeder (1999–2003). Our current organ was dedicated on October 4, 1992. In 2000, a former Walgreen’s Drug store on Center St. was renovated and reopened as the Pilgrim Child Development Center. Rev. Jonathan Rusnak began serving Pilgrim in 2016.

“The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”
Lamentations 3.22–23.

As pilgrims en route to our heavenly home, we are Christ’s Church at 68th and Center, Wauwatosa. Because of the pilgrim journey Jesus took, leaving His heavenly home to accomplish salvation for all, joining us on our earthly journeys, and leading us to our heavenly home, we are a haven of God’s peace, receiving the gift of His grace through His undeserved mercy. Along the way, Pilgrim Ev. Lutheran Church is a locus of mercy and a source of renewal and strength through the proclamation, study, and sharing of God’s Word and Sacraments, and the sharing of earthly blessings with those in need. As we go, we are alive and growing in faith and love for all who come through our doors.


Music is one of God’s greatest gifts, particularly when it is used to carry the Word of God to people and the people’s praise to God for all that He has done, is doing, and will do for us in Jesus Christ. Our Church Organist, Noren Fromm, leads us in song from our Martin Ott tracker pipe organ. He also regularly incorporates choral singing, handbells, and various musical instruments in worship. Soli Deo Gloria!


Pilgrim is blessed to have an active society of the Lutheran Women's Missionary League. Our society meets regularly to “Serve the Lord with Gladness” through study, prayer, and the support of local and international missions. In the process, each woman is challenged to affirm her relationship with God so that she is enabled to use her own special gifts to further God’s kingdom. In addition to our society, we are organized at the Zone, District, and National levels which offer rallies, retreats, and conventions. More information is available at the National website ( and the District website (

Food Pantry

Nonperishable food donations are regularly received from our members. These gifts are available to assist members of our congregation and community, but they are most often shared with the food pantry located at Hope Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. Donations are always welcome.


During the months of September through March, the men of Pilgrim participate each Wednesday evening in an 80-year-old dartball league with many other Lutheran congregations in the Milwaukee area. Any male, confirmed member of Pilgrim can participate. New players are always welcome!

Sewing for Veterans

This group began in 2010 as a Milwaukee site for the CamoQuilt Project, making camouflage quilts for deployed soldiers in the Middle East. Now, twice a month, a group of ladies (some Pilgrim members and some not) get together to sew red, white, and blue quilts for U.S. Veterans at the Veterans Hospital in Milwaukee. Sewers and helpers, experienced quilters or willing workers are welcome. Check the Pilgrim calendar to see which Saturdays will be quilting days this month.

International Partners

The Baker Family in Asia

The Ferry Family in Asia