History and Organization

On September 13, 1951 Calvary Church was organized at a special meeting in the Woodruff Town Hall. Officers elected were:

President –                          Erwin J. Steenson,
Secretary –                          Antoinette Larson,
Treasurer –                          Earl Cronkrite
Financial Secretary –          Hattie Caylor..

Board of Trustees were: Wilbur Hagen, Wilmer Yelton, Jr., Rudolph Bach, E. J. Shafland, Dane Crook and Emil Brocksch. Board of Deacons were: Mrs. Harrison Schneider, Arthur Oehmcke, Mrs. George Grundy, Fred Sabatke, Edward Langren and William DeWitt.

The first service was held on Sunday evening November 4, 1951 in the Minocqua Community Building. Pastor Pikop of Tomahawk and Pastor Bey of Rhinelander alternated Sunday evenings for services until Pastor Eldred Johnson, our first full time pastor, was installed on April 20, 1952.

Services and added Sunday School, under the leadership of Ervin Steenson, were held in the community building until the new church was ready. The church site was purchased with a donation from Dane Crook, who came to our rescue many times with our building and furnishings. Construction was started in the fall of 1953 with Mr. Bierman as architect and Wilmer Yelton, Jr. as general contractor. Many donations and memorials were given to help in the building and furnishing of the new church. Fred Sabatke built the first pulpit, lectern, altar railing and baptismal font.

The first service in the new church was held on December 12, 1954, with dedication on Easter Sunday, April 10, 1955. As the new church grew so did the needs for a larger Sunday School area, and once again construction was started and a new parish education unit was added.

Dedication service were held May 27, 1962. With rapid growth of the congregation, ground was broken on July 21, 1974 for completely remodeling the church proper and increasing the size of the basement. Dedication for the newly remodeled building, which is as it stands now, was held on June 29, 1975.


Eldred P Johnson             April 20, 1952 to January, 1958.
Paul A. Roe                        February 9, 1958 to January 7, 1962.
William O. Lawson           February 4, 1962 to August 15, 1967.
George C. Krebs               September 3, 1967 to October 31, 1987.
James W Wiberg             June 1, 1987 to November 30, 1996.
Mary S. Weinkauf             May 1, 1997 to June 30, 2005
Maxine Gray                     August 1, 2006 to the present


Gary Simpson                     June 1972 to December 1972
Norman E. Winterhoff       December 1, 1973 to June 1, 1978
Emil W. Evenson                October 8,1978 to Nov. 30, 1981


February, 1951 – Forty-three families signed a paper showing interest in organizing a new Lutheran Church in the Minocqua-Woodruff area. The pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Rhinelander was contacted and offered to guide this group.

September 13, 1951 – Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church was organized at a special meeting in the Woodruff Town Hall.

November 4, 1951 – The first worship service was held on Sunday evening in the Minocqua Community Building. Two pastors from Tomahawk and Rhinelander took turns conducting the Sunday evening services.

April 20, 1952 – The first full time pastor was installed.

Fall of 1953 – Construction of the first unit began.

December 12, 1954 – First worship service in the new church

April 10, 1955 – Dedication of the new building was held on Easter Sunday.

1961 – Calvary assisted in the founding of a new mission at Sayner.

May 27, 1962 – Dedication of the new parish education unit.

Summer of 1969 – Campground Ministry was organized and sponsored by Calvary.

July 21, 1974 – Ground was broken for an addition to enlarge the church proper and to increase the size of the basement for Sunday School purposes.

June 29, 1975 – Dedication of the newly remodeled building.

Easter 1976 – Radio Ministry was begun on WWMH radio in Minocqua

1979 – Communion services were introduced at local nursing homes.

May 27, 1987 – A devastating fire caused much damage to the church sanctuary. Services were temporarily held in the Calvary Fellowship Hall.

January 1, 1988 – Calvary became a part of the Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

July 24, 1988 – The rebuilt sanctuary was completed and dedication services were held.

September 25, 1988 – Dedication of the Calvary Stuart pipe organ.

1997 – Calvary established Companion Synod relations with the Eastern and Coastal Diocese of Tanzania and a companion congregation at Kimara.

September 3, 1997 – Calvary Satellite of Northern Great Lakes Synod Lay School for Mission began. Six graduated in May, 1998.

September 9, 2001 – 50th Anniversary Celebration

June 26, 2005 – Construction completed on the Alan Weinkauf Memorial Pavilion