63+ Years of Making Mighty Messengers
St. Michael was a Michigan District Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod mission plant and some of our foundational members came from Zion. The first worship service (in which the charter was signed) was at Milham School in Portage on September 25, 1960.
The first pastor of St. Michael, who was the District’s mission planter placed right out of the St. Louis seminary, was Rev. James Poerschke. Pastor Kenneth Allan followed him in 1963, and continued at St. Michael until his retirement in 1997. After spending about 10 years in retirement in Tennessee, Pastor Allan moved back up to Portage, and serves as our Pastor Emeritus, continuing to make calls, teach, and do some preaching. Pastor Paul R. Naumann was installed as Assistant Pastor on February 2, 1997. Following the retirement of Pastor Allan, he was eventually joined by Pastor Steve Thiel as Associate Pastor from 1999-2002. Later, St. Michael has been blessed to have Rev. Jason Toman serve as Assistant Pastor. Jason continues also to work as a part-time engineer for a local company.
2020 was a year of challenges and joys, as through the pandemic we have gone to having pastoral devotions weekly and services broadcast on Facebook LIVE, electronic newsletters and parking lot services with drive-by communion offered. We said goodbye to our Director of Child/Youth, Andrea Lynch, and we welcomed Rev. Daniel Maske and family into our midst on September 6. He serves as Associate Pastor and has a focus on the faith formation of our children/youth.
September 26, 2020 we joyfully celebrated that St. Michael is "Sixty and Solid: Built On The Rock" of Jesus Christ 1960-2020! Pastor Emeritus, Kenneth Allan, shared the Word with guests.
Time flies when you’re having fun, and especially when you’re having fun serving the Lord together at St. Michael Lutheran Church and School. We recently celebrated the 63rd anniversary of our congregation, the 20th anniversary of the ground breaking of our Family Life Center (that serves St. Michael Lutheran School), and the 60th anniversary of the installation of our beloved pastor emeritus, Rev. Kenneth Allan. Pastor Allan first came to St. Michael and was installed as our pastor in 1963. He served wonderfully and effectively until his retirement in 1997. At 91 years old he still regularly and faithfully makes pastoral visits and administers private communion services with several of our elderly and shut-in friends. On occasion he still preaches at funerals and at some other times, too.
The story of St. Michael is really about the people whose lives have been changed for the better by the love of God in Christ Jesus. While we look back in gratitude at all the Lord has done among us and through us, we also know He still has much more that He would like us to do for Him in our community and world. There are many people hurting these days financially, emotionally, physically and Spiritually. Our ongoing ministry will seek to address these concerns into the future.
Below you might recognize a few friends from the years gone by.