Our Story

Every story has a beginning. This is ours…

History of Eastside

Confirmation Class of 1926

Eastside Ev. Lutheran Church was founded on October 1, 1925 with the intention to win souls for Christ and spread the good news of his Gospel. Rev. Theo Thurow, the pastor at Peace in Sun Prairie, had canvassed the east side of Madison after seeing a ripe harvest field for a mission congregation.

The organizational meeting for Eastside was held on October 1, 1925 at the home of Mr. Charles Strobush at 2644 E. Dayton St. His home also served as the location of our worship services for two months. Eastside started with just 15 members. The Mission Board had purchased three lots on the northeast corner of East Mifflin and North Streets and had begun building a chapel with a seating capacity of approximately 200 people. By December 13, 1925, work had progressed far enough for services to be held in the basement. On February 14, 1926, the chapel was finished and dedicated.

Eastside English Lutheran Church 1927

On July 1, 1960, the congregation purchased an eight-acre site, upon which our church, school, and parsonage still sit. Architectural plans were approved in the summer of 1963.Groundbreaking ceremonies were held on September 15, 1963. The cornerstone was laid on March 29, 1964, and the building was dedicated on June 21, 1964.

By the summer of 1965, the new parsonage was ready to be occupied and in the fall of that year, the new school opened. One of the greatest influences which this congregation has had upon the community is the establishment and maintenance of a Christian Day School. It has been an integral part of our ministry from the very start.

Eastside Lutheran Church and School 1964

The first pastor, Gervasius Fisher, and the congregation believed strongly that such a school would be a worthwhile missionary undertaking and in the minutes of the congregational meeting on 28 October 1926 we read: “Motion made and seconded that we take mortal responsibility of the Lutheran School to be started February 1, 1927 at Gallagher Park. Motion Carried.” Our Church operated a Lutheran grade school jointly with other local WELS congregations until September of 1965 when Eastside Lutheran School began to operate independently in our current building.

Additions to the current building were added first in 1977 and then later in 2005. Eastside has been as large as 1,100 members, however, the church has also been active in starting mission congregations in nearby communities so that the gospel can continue to be spread. Our current membership is right around 900 souls with a Christian Day School with an enrollment of over 150+. The Lord has blessed us with nine full-time teachers and two pastors.

Eastside has been blessed by God’s grace to maintain faithfulness to God’s Word. This faithfulness is due in great part to the pastors whom our Lord has called to serve and lead us.

Pastor Gervasius W. Fischer    1925-1934

Pastor Theophil H. Mahnke    1935-1946

Pastor Reginald A. Siegler    1946-1954

Pastor Karl G. Bast        1954-1980

Pastor Paul S. Soukup    1980-1990

Pastor David A. Kipfmiller    1981-1988

Pastor Harold E. Wicke    1989-1992

Pastor Glen F. Schmiege    1988-2016

Pastor Kenneth A. Gast    1990-2007

Pastor Michael T. Novotony    2007-2014

Pastor Nathan H. Berg    2015-Present

Pastor Peter R. Schlicht    2017-Present

God has blessed his Word at Eastside for over 90 years. We pray that he will continue to bless his Word, as he has promised, for many years to come. To God alone be the glory!