Church History

Exploratory work for the establishment of a congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in Fairmont began in the fall of 1976.  The first official service for this fledgling congregation was held on January 6, 1978.  The initial exploratory work was done by Pastor Eugene Roecker of Butterfield, MN. 

Shepherd of the Lakes Lutheran Church was first organized in May of 1978.  Early church services were held in members' homes; the present church building was purchased in October of 1978.  The dedication service was held on November 12, 1978 with Pastor Roecker officiating.

He served as pastor until 1979 when Pastor Robert Wilke, a recent seminary graduate, was installed as the first resident pastor of the congregation. Pastor Wilke served the congregation faithfully until March of 1984 when he accepted a call to Columbus, Wisconsin. Pastor John Miller was resident pastor from 1984-1989. Pastor Ralph Bauer from New Ulm received a six-month call to serve as pastor from the fall of 1989 to the summer of 1990. Pastor Bradley J. Pearson was installed on June 24, 1990 and served until April of 1996.

Pastor David Waterstradt was installed on July 15, 1996 and served the congregation until February of 2005.  Pastor Darvin Raddatz served the congregation as a vacancy pastor from February 2005-July 2005.  Pastor David Bendix served from July 2005 to May 2013, while Pastor Bob Hellman served as vacancy pastor.

In 2012, the congregation purchased 1.6 acres on Albion Avenue for a new church building.

Pastor Peter Hagen was installed on July 14, 2013 and faithfully served Shepherd of the Lakes until he received a call to serve in Maumee, Ohio in the summer of 2018. Serving the congregation during its vacancy in the middle of summer 2018 was Pastor Wesley Bruss. Currently serving as our Pastor is Pastor Jason Zuehlke, who was installed on July 1, 2018.