How did Kingdom Workers come into existence?
Kingdom Workers has a history that reaches back to the 1980′s. In 1986 two lay members of the Board for World Missions were determined, with the help of God the Holy Spirit, to overcome the obstacles which inhibited realization of the full potential of our synod’s mission opportunity. Robert Grebe and Jim Haag identified the primary ingredients in short supply as 1) financial resources and 2) human resources. They set on a course of action to provide for these needs by networking among financially blessed laymen. They told the story of mission opportunities left unfulfilled because the necessary resources were lacking.
The 1987 WELS Synod Convention encouraged the establishing of a lay organization to support home and world missions. In April of 1988, the first organizational gathering of Kingdom Workers was held at St. Paul’s in Muskego, Wis. Lay people responded and contributions were received. Articles of Incorporation were formally adopted on August 6, 1989. The first president was Robert Grebe, vice president Larry Marquardt, and executive director Gerald D. Davis – all serving on a volunteer basis. The original office location was at Jordan Lutheran Grade School, 8420 W. Beloit Road in West Allis, Wis. Pauline Jaeger became the first staff person, also serving as a volunteer. Among the first projects associated with Kingdom Workers were “Reaching Out to the Mormons;” a lay couple for Zambia, Africa; and Northside Lutheran Ministries.
In December 1990 Mark Krueger was hired as the full-time national executive director. Early in 1991 the office was relocated to 2401 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, Wis. On August 13, 1991, the Lord called home the soul of Jerry Davis. His work, dedication, and support of Kingdom Workers are remembered and appreciated.
The production of the Communicating Christ video Bible instruction course, which was developed by Missionary Carlos Leyrer, has been one of the many blessings associated with Kingdom Workers. Its use in world missions, most notably Russia, is well known, but the domestic use of Communicating Christ as a tool for adult instruction has exceeded all expectations.
In June of 1992 Mark Krueger resigned as national executive director to pursue other career opportunities. In November of 1992 David Timm was hired to fill the vacant position. Because the office building was sold and then demolished for a new building, the national office relocated to 2323 N. Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa, November 2005. In November 2010, Bill Meier became national executive director following the retirement of David Timm. Bill Meier and Dave Timm – 1997
Kingdom Workers exists to promote and facilitate lay involvement in service to God’s kingdom. While the purpose of Kingdom Workers has not changed since 1989, the support base has broadened. Kingdom Workers is not only for the financially blessed, but for all people who understand the joy of carrying out God’s Great Commission. The contribution of time, talents, and treasures from the many who support the Kingdom Workers ministry is a reason to thank our Lord. The Lord has blessed Kingdom Workers.
To God alone be the glory!
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