Redeemer Lutheran Church opened at 19th and Wisconsin Avenue on Milwaukee’s “Grand Avenue” in 1917. One hundred years later, Redeemer has evolved from being a candidate for closure to now being “A Hive of Activity” as depicted on the bee-themed mural on the south face of the building, a nod to the beehives on the roof. Increased membership, giving, and baptisms paired with strong neighborhood ministry of service, advocacy, and healing demonstrate how a strong diverse urban congregation located at the crossroads of poverty and privilege can bridge these worlds.
Primary Focus Area: Renovation for expanded community outreach
Requesting Funding for the "Fearless and Faithful Capital Campaign"
Program Budget: $4 million
Operating Budget: $252,000
Lutheran Affiliation: ELCA
Programs: Redeemer’s 100-year-old Gothic Revival sanctuary is significant both historically and architecturally and is in need of significant repair. The 70-year-old Fellowship (west) Wing is worn beyond economic repair after decades of intensive use. (The west wing was used for its Noon Run Meal Program, which Siebert has supported over many years.) Redeemer plans to transform these facilities - to greatly empower its mission and ministry - in two phases:
The Sanctuary renovation will ensure the historic and beautiful traditional worship space for future generations.
The Fellowship (west) Wing's renovation will be a gut rehab, making new and more accessible spaces that will greatly enhance neighborhood ministry, mission partnerships, convenings, and community conversations.
The congregation has raised $2 million internally toward the Fearless and Faithful project.
Who is Served: Between 2013 and 2020 Redeemer's baptized membership grew from 166 to 272. In that same period, average weekly worship attendance increased from 66 to 105. The community served primarily resides in the Near West Side neighborhood and is 42.5% White, 41.5% Black, 10.4% Hispanic or Latino, 7% Asian, 4.4% Multi-racial, and .7% Native. Recipients of care at the mental health assessment clinic and the Noon Run meal are typically single low-income people, and a significant proportion are senior citizens and/or disabled.
Location: 1905 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53233