Our History

  Our History  
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in 1980 to proclaim God's Word in its truth and purity to the people of Merrill, WI.  God has blessed our efforts to carry the message of his Son, our namesake, Jesus Christ, to our local community and to the entire world at large.

As we reflect on our history as a church, we are mindful of all the mercy God has shown us, we are thankful for the grace he continues to give us and we look for the future opportunities he provides us to share his saving Word.

Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Merrill, WI - WELS
  • July 1980
    Pastor Ralph Jones and members of Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Town of Berlin, survey the Merrill community as a prospective mission field for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) 

  • September, 1980
    WELS grants permission for exploratory worship services

  • January, 1981
    The first organizational meeting is held; the name "Christ Ev. Lutheran Church" is chosen 

  • February 8, 1981
    The first worship service is held in the Northland Lutheran High School chapel; the first baptism is performed 

  • August 20, 1981
    The voters' assembly applies for status as a WELS mission congregation; first confirmation service is celebrated

  • October, 1981
    The WELS grants Christ Ev. Lutheran Church's request for mission congregation status

  • June, 1982
    The WELS Western Wisconsin District Convention accepts Christ Lutheran as a member of the synod

  • July 11, 1982
    Pastor Adam Horneber is installed as the first full-time pastor

  • September, 1982
    The WELS okays a land search for a permanent church site

  • March, 1984
    Christ receives a loan for purchase of vacant land and a parsonage on North Sales street

  • July 21, 1985
    A ground breaking ceremony is held for the future church building

  • March 16, 1986
    The new church building is dedicated and the cornerstone is laid

  • February 12, 1989
    Pastor Joel Lillo is installed as the second full-time pastor

  • October 10, 1989
    The church parking lot is paved

  • January 14, 1996
    Pastor James Weiland is installed as Christ's third full-time pastor

  • June, 1998
    The congregation purchases a Kurzweil Mark 12 digital piano to replace the existing organ

  • September, 1998
    The parking lot is expanded by 60% to accommodate the growing congregation

  • August 27, 2006
    The bell of St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church, Joe Snow Rd., is recommissioned for service at Christ Lutheran to celebrate Christ's 25th anniversary

  • May 19, 2013
    The mortgage on the original church facilities is burned with thanks and praise to God for his many blessings to the congregation allowing for the repayment of the building loan

  • June 8, 2014
    The voters' assembly approves construction of an addition to the existing church building

  • June 22, 2014
    A ground breaking ceremony is held for the "Growing in Christ" church building expansion project

  • October 4, 2015
    The expanded sanctuary and church building is dedicated

  • January 22, 2018
    Pastor Weiland unexpectedly called home to heaven as a result of injuries caused by an automobile accident

  • May 26, 2019
    Pastor Neal Behm is installed as Christ's fourth full-time pastor
Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church - Merrill, WI - WELS