Timeline of Significant Events
1860 Congregation began church services with the German Evangelical Lutheran services preached in the German language. Church with the
Wisconsin Lutheran Synod. The first services were held in a Saukville school house.
1865 The first known pastor was from Friedens Church in Port Washington.
1893. Friedens confirmed children from Saukville in their church in Port Washington.
1868 St. Peter’s Congregation was organized and founded by 17 families.
1872 Friedens Church joined the German Evangelical Synod of the West, and the Saukville Congregation also joined.
1876 On October 23, 1876, the congregation was incorporated, and the church was built. It had no bell tower. Mr. Hubert Niesen was awarded the contract for building the church. The size of the original church was 30 ft x 45 ft and had no belfry or steeple. We were known as Evangelical St. Peter’s Church. The articles of incorporation were signed by the three Trustees of the Church: Louis Wambold, John Grady, and August Koenig.
1877 We were affiliated with German Evangelical Synod of North America.
1888 A bell was purchased from Gardiner Campbell & Sons, and cast by Centennial Bell Foundry of Milwaukee, WI. The year stamped on the bell is
1888 and the bell has a mouth diameter of 33 inches (Note C) and weight of 600 pounds and a height of 27 inches.
1893 The congregation became self-sustaining from Friedens Church in Port Washington.
1894 A lot was purchased east of the church, and the parsonage was built a year later.
1906 An addition was built on the north end of the church to include: a chancel, sacristy, school room, and above that second floor organization room. A new altar and pulpit were purchased, and art stained glass windows were donated by various families of the congregation. The dedicated was held on October 14th.
1910 The church interior was painted and redecorated
1915 Another lot was purchased to the east of the parsonage and used as an orchard.
1920 Female members were allowed to sit with male members. Prior to this, men sat on one side and the ladies sat on the other side of the church.
1922 The first time electric lights were mentioned. The first light bill was $2.50.
1925 Joined the Evangelical Synod of North America.
1926 A rebuilt pipe organ was purchased from the Wangerine Organ Company of Milwaukee.
1928 The church celebrated its 60th Anniversary. A picture was taken of the congregation in front of the church. The church was painted and redecorated.
1930 The Young People’s class donated a silver communion tray with the individual glasses. It is still being used today.
1931 A telephone was installed in the parsonage and the first bill was $1.33. In the same year, natural gas was hooked up to the parsonage. Eight years later this was hooked up to the church. The first bill was $2.50.
1932 The lady members of the church are allowed to vote on church matters.
1934 Merged and are members of the Evangelical and Reformed denomination. A beautiful copy of Hoffmann’s “Christ in Gethsemane,” painted by Rev. G. A. Hensel, was donated by him to the congregation to be placed above the altar. This replaced the “Statue of Jesus.” This now hangs in the Fireside area of the church.
1937 A copper cross replaced the finial ornament on top of the steeple and was donated by Rev. Hensel.
1938 The church basement was dug out to allow for a Fellowship Hall with kitchen.
1940 Rev. Hensel retired from the ministry and was made Pastor Emeritus. His residence was one block south of the church.
1941 The Village of Saukville installed water and sewer to the parsonage. The stained glass windows were retied with angle iron rods, the leads retightened and the frames caulked.
1943 On Sunday, June 27th, St. Peter’s Evangelical Church held its Diamond Jubilee. A booklet was printed for this 75th Anniversary. St. Peter’s Church became yoked with St. Paul’s Church of Waubeka until 1962.
1944 A narrow strip of land between Dries Street and the church was purchased from Joseph Hackl to be used as a parking area.
1947 The church purchased an 80x115 lot north of the church on Dries Street where the second parsonage (or church house) was built.
1949 An 18 page booklet was printed for the dedication. The Parish Hall Entrance, the new dining room and kitchen were dedicated on September
11th. The kitchen was equipped by the Women’s Guild. Two rest rooms were included.
1952 New Pipe Organ with Deagon Chimes were dedicated. The organ was built by American Organ Supple Co. of Milwaukee at a cost of $4,200.00. The pipe organ has two manuals (keyboards) and 377 pipes. The largest pipe is 16 feet long and the smallest pipe is two inches long. It has six ranks (set) of pipes. East rank produces a different type of sound such as flute, string, etc.
1953 Youth Fellowship made a $50 donation to the Village of Saukville to initiate a movement to put up street signs in the village.
1954 The Youth Fellowship held their first annual play in the Firemen’s Hall.
1958 The Woman’s Guild purchased new green dishes for the Fellowship Hall at $1,000.
1957 Merged and became member of the United Church of Christ Denomination. The Evangelical & Reformed Church merged with Congregational Christian Church.
1958 On June 29th, a 90th Anniversary Booklet was printed. A picture was taken on the west side of the church of all who attended. A Sunday School theme song was written by Evelyn Leach.
1959 World Community Day was held at St. Peter’s E & RChurch at Saukville on Friday, November 6th.
1960 St. Peter’s Church purchased the property to the east of the present church grounds bordering Grady Park. Now the church property, a total of 1.06 acres, extended from Dries Street to Grady Park. This became part of our parking lot.
1965 The denomination’s name was changed from Evangelical and Reformed, to United Church of Christ. The Church Constitution was updated.
1967 The new parsonage north of the church was dedicated by the Rev. Edward Busse, interim pastor. Rev. Sather and family were the first family to move in.
1968 A booklet was printed for the 100th Anniversary, and celebrations were held on October 20 – 27th.
1970 Janet (Grady) Steffen ended her 20 years as choir director.
1973 St. Peter’s United Church of Christ updated the Constitution.
1972 A generous bequest of $6,664 from the Alfred Rettmann estate was made to the church. This made us debt free.
1977 Hosted the World Day of Prayer on Friday March 4th. Eleven churches participated in this celebration.
1982 Viola Gerner ended her 30 plus years as organist.
1984 The new carillon was purchased from the Verdin Company of Cincinnati, Ohio and dedicated during the Christmas Eve service. The carillon was purchased with memorial gifts in honor of friends of the church. The carillon marks the hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and at noon and 6 p.m. Hymns and seasonal music are played.
1987 Printed our first pictorial director which included a picture of all our church members.
1991 John and Elizabeth Feith presented St. Peter’s Church with a proposal to build a new church.
1993 Our congregation is in the midst of a Building and Fund Raising Campaign for a new church building. This project will include space for the Sunday School area and a new sanctuary. The old church will become the new Fellowship Hall. This facility will be equipped to handle various functions with the community. Groundbreaking is scheduled for spring of 1994.
1993 Celebrated our 125th Anniversary with a picture booklet with 26 pages of our church history. Printed our second picture directory of our church members. Printed a cookbook for the 125th Anniversary.
1994 Ground breaking ceremony was held for the new church.
1995 Outreach held their first rummage sale in Dan and Gail Weigel’s garage. Nancy Lucas and Mark Gierach had the first wedding in our new church building.
1996 Held the last meeting of the New Building Committee. Dedication Sunday for the new church building with lunch was held in the Fellowship Hall. Guided tours were also held.
1997 Printed our third church directory which included pictures of the members of our church.
2000 The last stained glass window was installed. Clyde Crass, with church approval, made all the 13 stained glass windows. Aaron Holland designed and painted the medallion parts of the stained glass windows. Aaron and Clyde began work in 1995 and finished four years later. Dedication service was held for the new stained glass windows in the new church. In 2004, the Petersons, James & John, donated a booklet on the stained glass windows with the history of the donating families of St. Peter’s Church.
2001 The Senior Citizens of Saukville are allowed to have their meal site once a week at St. Peter’s Fellowship Hall. Interfaith Caregivers were given an office to use in the lower level. Held our first Annual United Church of Christ Southeast Association Meeting at St. Peter’s Church.
2003 “Raise the Roof Campaign” for $190,000. Printed the fourth church directory of our members on our 135th anniversary of the church.
2008 On April 29th had the cornerstone from the old church open. The following was found: Port Washington newspaper dated July 6, 1876 printed in a German, handwritten letter listing all the members of St. Peter’s Church who attended the meeting dated July 9, 1876, Constitution of the Evangelical Synod of the West, Evangelical Catechism belonging to Rev. Fr. Julius Frank.
2008 Items placed into the cornerstone next to the canopy.
2008 On November 2nd St. Peter’s UCC Church celebrated its 140th Anniversary. Women’s Circle printed their third cookbook. An eight page anniversary booklet was printed with the help of James Peterson. The Peterson brothers collected confirmation pictures and had a display built to display them. The display has 85 confirmation pictures starting with the year 1910. From 1910 to the present, we are missing only one confirmation picture.
2011 Solar panels were installed.
2012 Saukville Community Food Pantry opens in the church basement and begins serving Ozaukee County families in need.
2013 Rev. Brian E. Damrow became pastor. The Saukville Community Food Pantry begins hosting Free Community Meals once per month in the Fellowship Hall.
2014 St. Peter's becomes an Open Affirming congregation.
2014 New flooring installed in the lower level. A pictorial directory was printed with pictures of church families and church activities. St. Peter's is involved in the planning of Family Promise of Ozaukee County shelter program for homeless women and children.
2015 Rev. Craig Modahl hired as a Bridge Pastor. St.Peter's becomes a host church for Family Promise.
2016 The Council appoints a committee to revise the Constitution which is adopted on December 4, 2016.
2017 The Kettlemoraine YMCA began using a portion of the lower level for an after school child care program. A group of volunteers formed to organize a Brat Fry fundraiser to help the victims of the recent hurricanes. They raised over $2,000 in funds which were used to assemble 50 cleaning buckets that were distributed by Church World Services to hurricane victims. The Saukville Community Food Pantry adds a second monthly Free Community meal to be served in the Fellowship Hall. The members vote to raise funds for a new digital sign for the front lawn.
2017 Rainbow doors were displayed on the front lawn in honor of those killed in the Orlando night club shooting and to reinforce our Open and Affirming welcome. St. Peter's joined with four other area churches to establish the non-profit organization "Lighthouse Youth Ministry", an ecumenical youth ministry group for the Port Washington/Saukville and surrounding areas.
2018 St. Peter’s United Church of Christ changed their name to Parkside Community United Church of Christ (DBA).
2018 Rev. Michelle Freeman called as new 3/4 time Pastor. Her Installation Service occurred on June 3, 2018. Pastor Michelle is the first female and the first African American in this role at our church.
2018 A new digital sign was purchased and installed on the front lawn of the church to advertise events and church news.
2018 On October 28, the church celebrates it's 150th anniversary with a special worship service followed by a luncheon.
2019 Parkside rents out the commercial kitchen to That Taco Guy food truck and begins to rent space with a ministry of St. John's XXIII Catholic Church, A Place to Be Spirituality Center.
2019 An Eagle Scout donated his time to build a Labyrinth in the backyard of the church house. This Labyrinth will be open to all as a place of reflection.
2020 Began search for 1/2 time Pastor as due to declining funds the congregation voted that the pastoral position had to be reduced to a 1/2 position and Pastor Michelle declined the position on a 1/2 time basis.
2020 On July 1, 2020 Rev. Susan Drake became the official Pastor of Parkside Community UCC, filling the role with a part-time position.
2020 In March, the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across our world, causing us to hold our first virtual services. We intermittently gather in-person and virtually depending how hard our area is being affected by the virus at any given time.