History records and explains past events, while folklore preserves what people widely remember.
History and Folklore!
As the story is told, in the planning of Greendale land was specifically set aside for the building of churches. One indication that this might have been the case is the Deed shown to me by Pastor Leo Mosier of the .
Located on the southwest corner of 51st Street and Eastway, ‘The First Conservative Baptist Church of Milwaukee, Inc.’ purchased the land from the Milwaukee Community Development Corporation () for the vast sum of $1.00 on July 30th, 1963. Previously, there had been a farmhouse on the site owned by Otto Suderland. The Suderland family had lived there from 1938 until 1963 when Otto sold the farm to the MCDC when the area was being developed for single family housing.
Whatever really happened, the decision to sell the land and have this church put down roots in Greendale was perfect. As Greendale celebrates its 75th Anniversary in 2013, the Greendale Baptist Church will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Upon learning that, my first response to Pastor Mosier was, “let’s party together!” Seeing the progress made from the humble beginning of 10 Christian families meeting in homes in 1956, to this strong congregation half a century later is remarkable. The original church was completed and the first service held was on May 3, 1965. Then in 2003 an expansion was undertaken which was completed in 2004. I visited this wonderful place of worship, family gathering and school academy last week and talked with Pastor Mosier about his ministry.
As I usually do when I interview someone I started to ask Pastor Mosier how he got started, what brought him to Greendale, and kind of jokingly said “You must have had a calling”. Yikes, no kidding Dave.
Leo Mosier said he was born and raised on a ranch in eastern Wyoming, 25 miles from the nearest town of Lusk, WY. After graduating from high school he worked in construction on transmission lines when the ‘call’ came in. Soon afterwards he moved to Watertown, WI to attend Bible College. After graduation he served as a Pastor in Horicon, WI for 11 years. From there he came to the Greendale Baptist Church, where he has now served the congregation for the last 23 years. That definitely qualifies as a ‘calling’ in my book.
Pastor Mosier then explained to me the present congregation comes from all over the surrounding communities and the demographics are mostly younger families in the 25 to 45 year old range. That surprised me and I asked why. He said the attraction is two-fold:
- Members are drawn to the old historic Christianity, the study of what the bible says and how it applies to their everyday lives.
- They like the old fashioned gospel hymns, and the fact that there is a lot of participation in the service and the ministry.
To further serve this youthful congregation, just yesterday on Mother’s Day it was announced that a new Assistant Pastor has been hired, Tom Loggans, who will specialize in Youth and Children’s ministry. Loggans is also from Wyoming. We welcome him to Greendale and will follow up in a few months to see what he thinks about moving to what we think is ‘civilization’.
I looked up Wyoming and found out it is the 10th largest but the 2nd lowest population density of the 50 states.
Besides their spiritual nature, what makes the churches so important to Greendale is their involvement with the community. The members of the Greendale Baptist Church have had floats in the, have participated in , performed Christmas music at , and the church is an alternate site for in case of an emergency.
They like to show their appreciation to the military with a Patriotic Sunday, and the fire and police with a Blue & White Sunday. Pastor Leo has been known to deliver a half dozen cases of soda to the Police and Fire Departments in the summer as a 'Thank You'. There’s a saying I’ve always liked, ‘The hardest thing to give away is kindness. It keeps getting returned’. Pastor Mosier exemplifies this, as does his congregation. It’s a pleasure to have the Greendale Baptist Church in the neighborhood.
But did you know?
The Greendale Baptist Church used to be called ‘The Crown Church’. The original steeple was made of aluminum and at the top there was a gold crown. However, the steeple was very, very heavy and was replaced by the present steeple years ago. If someone has an old picture of that steeple with the gold crown please get in touch with Greendale Patch. The church would love to have that picture for its archives.
People, Past & Present!
Two of the young members of the Greendale Baptist Church are Josh and Carrie Hunt, and their five children. Their children all go to the school at the Greendale Baptist Academy, which is part of the church. When I asked Josh if it was a burden financially, he said he and his wife considered it an investment. Josh is a Youth Director at the church, and is one of the members who helps conduct services in Pastor Mosier’s absence. Participation is one of the attractions of the Greendale Baptist Church, and the Hunts like that.
But not only do the Hunts worship in the community, they work here also. They are the owners of Frank-dale Roof and Chimney. Josh and his cousin Rob lost their jobs in 2008 when the economy took a downturn. Both married young, with kids, and needed to do something to support their families for the long term. They believe roofing chose them and that the Franklin-Greendale market was made to order for them. Both of their fathers and their grandfather had been in the roofing business, so they knew the work end of it.
Josh wanted to be a big fish in a small pond, not a small fish in a big pond. He wanted to work local, not travel, giving him quality time for his family. He and Carrie decided to start Frank-Dale Roofing and Chimney. They hired Rob to manage the jobs for them and an able crew of local workers. Their business has grown every year since it started. Frank-dale is the only certified roofing contractor in Greendale, and is accredited with the Better Business Bureau. They stand behind their work. If there is a problem they’re not hard to find because they are truly local.
When Josh learned about the 75th Commemorative Book and Greendale’s 75th Anniversary in 2013 his business jumped on board. He was excited to further establish the business in the community and invest in the future, just like he does with his children’s education. Frank-dale is a Diamond Sponsor of Greendale’s 75th Diamond Celebration. The financial support is great to have. However, Josh, Rob and the employees do more than that. They promote the 2013 Anniversary amongst their business contacts and friends. Bringing that kind of excitement is priceless.
Greendale Trivia Question and Answer:
Week#64 Question – How many churches are there in Greendale, and what are their names?
** Week #64 contributors Sally Chadwick, Dave Bauer, Pastor Leo Mosier, Josh and Carrie Hunt.