Our History

The heritage of the Elcho United Church of Christ and the Kempster United Church of Christ are rich in their religious foundation, their ethnic diversity, and their cultural roots. The yellowed pages of the ledger which houses the church's history tells tales of generosity, farsightedness, and determination. in the late teens when Elcho and the surrounding area was beginning to buzz with activity and following World War I, the ethnic make-up of the region was pluralistic. The whole region was a melting pot of ethnic backgrounds.

The generosity of Mr. Dorr, who contributed the property upon which the Elcho United Church of Christ church stands, made possible two things: he provided a home for the church and because of his stipulation in donating the property that it be used for other religious groups, laid the basis for a truly community-based congregation. After the Elcho Union Church was built, it was also used by the Methodists, the Lutherans, the Baptists and for a short time by the Catholics.

In November 1917 Miss Helen Jones, representing the WIsconsin Congregational Association arrived in the Kempster area to begin a process of prospecting for a new church. In 1920 an ecclesiastical council was convened and fourteen individuals organized as the Kempster Congregational Church.

The first pastor of the Elcho church was Mr. Bay who worked closely with Miss Helen Jones. Before the Elcho Congregational Church was founded in November 1920, its precursor was a small congregation of mixed backgrounds who were known as the Union Free Church, which was probably formed shortly after the turn of the century.

The charter of the Elcho church was finalized during an all-day meeting in January 1921 and the Elcho Congregational Church was formed. Some 32 individuals comprised the congregation which to this day is still considered a community-based church.

Community history and the church histories combine to paint a picture of rugged individualism, gritty pioneers who were determined to cut out a place in the north woods for their community, and individuals colorful and at the same time farsighted.

The Elcho Union Church yoked itself with the Kempster Church in 1944 and continues to this day to enjoy the benefits of being a sister church to one whose background is quite similiar.

With the changing times, in 1958 the churches showed their flexibilities and when the Congregational Christian Church merged with the Evangelical and Reformed Church to become the United Church of Christ both churches voted to become a part of the new denomination.

The two church continue in the tradition the spirit of dedication and genuine Christian Commitment to serving on another in the name of the Master and in the spirit of Christian love and fellowship. Both churches look into the future with confidence and hope and reinforces their determination to continuing the Christ-centered service to the community.

About the UCC

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).

The Church of Firsts. Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.

A Church of Extravagant Welcome - Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.

We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

Our Team

Jeff Pommerening

Pastor Jeff Pommerening began serving as our pastor in June of 2021. Jeff comes from Oshkosh, WI and has years of experience working with youth while serving as a youth minister, and also as a camp director. His passion is Christian Education and Faith Formation. Jeff wants to help bring people closer to God, and learn more about our Christian faith.

Scott Spencer

Scott is currently the moderator of the Church Council which is the governing body of the Church. 

Mary Kramer

Mary is the Recording Secretary/Clerk of the Council. She recently joined Elcho, and is a valuable member to the congregation.

Jane Wagner

Jane heads up the Music Committe alone with being one of the pianists for our services.

Sue Brautigam

Sue is the Treasurer for the Church.


Service Times


Kempster: 8:45 AM

Elcho: 10:30 AM


Drop in and see us:

N11291 Dorr St,

Elcho, WI 54428


We offer multiple ministries so that you can find one that you feel most comfortable in. Please check out the groups below and feel free to come join us!

Contact Us

(715) 275-3031

N11291 Dorr St

Elcho, WI 54428