Installation of Pastor Oelhafen

Pastor Oelhafen Installation

There will be a special service for Pastor Oelhafen on October 24 in the 11am service which will be streamed online. We have planned a catered meal to follow in the fellowship hall. All are invited and encouraged to give Pastor Oelhafen and his wife Christine a warm welcome.

Pastor Oelhafen Meet Pastor Oelhafen

Read his article from “The Connection” in October 2021. See below.

I’m honored to be called to serve the LORD Jesus and St. Paul’s Lutheran as Coordinating Pastor.  Thought you’d like to get to know me a bit better.

I was born in Bismarck, North Dakota where my father served as a WELS pastor in the small town of Tappen.  I grew up in Flint, Michigan (yes, that FLINT, MI) where I gained a deep appreciation for Michigan sports and attended Emanuel Lutheran Elementary School (fun fact:  Professor Tacke was my 8th grade teacher).  Graduating from Michigan Lutheran Seminary in ‘85 where I played in the band and baseball, I went to Northwestern College in Watertown, WI and graduated after playing college soccer (did they call it “pastor track” in those days?). 

Matriculating to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, my vicar year was spent at St. Stephen’s in Adrian, MI (with Hannah Scharf – who was a 7th grader at that time) and then served as a senior vicar at Calvary Lutheran in Thiensville, WI where my professors attended.  Graduating from WLS, I was assigned as the Evangelism & Spiritual Care pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church, in Waukesha, WI where I recently completed 27 wonderful years.  During that time, God gave me valuable experience working in a larger congregation with a large staff of pastors/teachers, with the Elders & reaching out to the lost, organizing Growth Groups, along with serving our WELS in various roles including: SEW District Evangelism Commission, restarting our WELS Waukesha Campus Ministry (growing it to 50+ students) for the past 6 years, and serving on the WELS Campus Ministry Committee.  I think my favorite part of Gospel ministry is getting to know and serve God’s people.

Last year, my father went to heaven after being in a nursing home with dementia and my mother Gretchen lives in Hartford, WI  (graduating from MLTC in ‘65 – you get extra credit for knowing that school).  I married an amazing Bethany College grad ‘87/Concordia-Mequon grad ’89 named Christine (Heidenreich) who was a teacher, and is now a full time Norwex consultant.  We’ve been blessed with twins: Stephen (now serving his vicar year in Myrtle Beach, SC and MLC grad) and Katherine (who is married to Levin Watts and they welcomed our first grandchild Marie last year).  Our youngest daughter Hannah is completing her super-senior year at MLC in Elementary Ed and Special Ed and is currently student teaching at St. Marcus School in the inner city of Milwaukee.

When not joyfully serving in ministry, we love to travel to see family, starting house projects, enjoying sports of any kind — especially basketball, and working with technology.  We feel especially blessed that not only do we have a new zip code (56073) but also a new house number (1912) where we are closing on this home on 10/14 and moving (God-willing) later that weekend.

I’ll be installed in the 11 am service on October 24th and will preach my first sermon the weekend of Reformation.  With a name like OELHAFEN, I pray we will fit into this friendly German community.

Christine and I are thrilled to be here working with St. Paul’s pastors, teachers, staff ministers and staff, and really look forward to meeting every one of you.  Please introduce yourself.  Thank you for being so welcoming. Peace!


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