Prior to 1935 there was a Baptist Church and a Methodist Church in the village of Kendall. As both congregations were dwindling in membership, they decided to combine and form one congregation. The Baptist Church building was the better of the two structurally, so the newly formed Federated Church began to meet there. The church was served by a Methodist minister who also served at the Wilton and Norwalk Methodist Churches, living in Norwalk. In 1974 the Kendall people decided to investigate separation from the Baptist and Methodist conferences.
A committee was formed and after meeting with several pastors and boards of other churches they met with our congregation and reported their findings. A graph was made on a big blackboard which showed the name of each church visited across the top and a list of specifications at the side. An X was placed under each church if it met the listed specification. The Evangelical Free Church was the only one meeting all specs and with 36 members voting, 34 were for the EFC with one for the Wesleyan and one abstention.
The district Superintendent came and helped us get organized into a Free Church on August 15, 1975. The charter was opened on January 18, 1975 and closed on Easter Sunday with 87 signatures. On March 16, 1976 we were accepted into the Fellowship at the district conference.
The first Pastor called was Roy Gibbs, followed by Dale Rusch. Rev. Gibbs returned for another year and then we were without a Pastor until a freshly ordained member of the congregation, Rev. Vernon Parks became our leader. During our time of having an empty pulpit, a retired Baptist minister, Rev.Otto McKegney served us. Following Pastor Vern, a new graduate of Trinity Evangelical Divinity Seminary, Rev. Ted Johnson became our shepherd and for the past 30 years Rev. Bob Waschek has led us until his retirement on June 30, 2020.
During our 44 years of existence our congregation has again dwindled, primarily due to many of the original members having gone home to the Lord and the declining local population. We have not been idle as we were instrumental in planting both the Sparta and Tomah Free Churches and having active Bible studies and a Free Church Women’s Ministries. God has richly blessed us with a deacon board and two elders and we continue to pray for his guidance as we preach his Word in our little corner of Monroe County.
As sketched in the section above, our church was initially an Ev. Free Church and when our Pastor, Robert Washek, announced his retirement after 30 years of service, the elders began to consider a denominational re-alignment.
They contacted the URCNA and the OPC and enjoyed the prompt response from Pastor Christian McShaffrey (who shepherds the OPC nearest them) and members of the Presbytery of the Midwest Brian De Jong and Jim Megchelsen.
After a brief season of prayer for discernment, and a seven-week Bible study led by Pastor McShaffrey, the congregation expressed its desire to be received as a mission work of the Presbytery of the Midwest.
On September 14, 2020 the congregation’s petition was approved and its members were denoted as a mission work. The session of Five Solas Church (Reedsburg, WI) was appointed as the overseeing session and Pastor McShaffrey has been teaching weekly and facilitating very fruitful steering committee meetings.
On April 16, Pastor Kim Kuhfuss was installed as our first Reformed Pastor. We look forward to seeing what the Lord will do in us, and through us, as we serve him with gladness.
What has the Lord been doing in your life?
All of our members can testify to God’s faithfulness to lead them into his Kingdom, but also through all the winding paths of life.
We invite you to walk with us as our Good Shepherd continues to lead us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.