The choir sang praises for sustaining the historic Milwaukee Central Church for the last 80 years. “It was wonderful to take a look back at what God has been doing for these last 80 years,” said Milwaukee Central’s pastor, “and also to look at what God is doing now and will do in the future.” 

May 29, 2024

Milwaukee Central Celebrates 80th Anniversary

On Sabbath, April 13, 2024, the Milwaukee Central Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrated their 80th anniversary with special guest speaker Dwight Nelson.

More than 200 were in attendance as several historical stories from the last 80 years were presented. One of the highlighted stories shared was about the 850 people who attended the dedication Sabbath in 1944 with the then General Conference president preaching that day. Another was about the choir almost being arrested while singing door-to-door during Ingathering in the 1940s. 

Thankfully the choir wasn’t close to being arrested on this Sabbath as they led out in a beautiful song service and special music. Adam Case, conference ministerial director, had a meaningful prayer over the congregation while Titus Naftanaila, conference president, graciously led out in Sabbath School earlier in the day. The principal of Milwaukee Seventh-day Adventist School, Jacie Reagan, gave an impassioned offertory and update regarding the largest school in the Lake Union. Two long-time members, Paul and Kathy Freeman, were honored for their years of service with Paul being an original founding member of the Central church. 

Pastor Nelson’s sermon, titled “American Apocalypse: The Friendliest People In Town,” challenged us to show the love of God to those who consider themselves “nones” regarding religious affiliation and to reach out to those who once attended but no longer do. This message fit perfectly with the theme for the Sabbath, “Welcome Home,” as we look to reconnect with those who used to attend and our neighbors who do not. 

Several ministries were highlighted in the fireside chapel throughout the day. Human Concerns, the ministry that has fed those with food insecurity for over 40 years, was highlighted along with our amazing Pathfinders and various other ministries. It was wonderful to look back at what God has been doing for these last 80 years and also to look at what God is doing now and will do in the future. 

Following the service, a lasagna meal was served. This was the most important time of the day, as food always brings the opportunity to connect with others. As potluck wound down, Nelson prayed a special prayer over the church. We were very appreciative of he and his wife, Karen, coming and sharing our 80th anniversary with us. 

My prayer is that there will not be another 80 years left on this earth. We need the Lord to come. Our theme was “Welcome Home,” but we also look to the day when Jesus Himself welcomes us to our eternal home with Him. As we took the opportunity to celebrate the work of the Lord, we also add our prayer to that of the apostle John in Revelation 22:20, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” 

Bill Dudgeon III is pastor of the Milwaukee Central Church.