Peace Lutheran Church began with a meeting on September 28, 1960, of 36 people to investigate organization of a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church in Neenah. The congregational charter was signed on December 18, 1960. The first pastoral call was extended to Rev. Walter Wangerin of Ohio who declined. The Rev. Kenneth Wessel accepted the call to serve as the first pastor on January 29, 1961.
Forty years ago on March 12, 1961 at 9:00 A.M., some 78 members and guests of Peace Lutheran Church gathered at the Neenah Recreation Building on South Park Avenue for the first worship service. They gave thanks to God that He had seen fit to bless their efforts with the establishment of a new church.
The congregation was founded in southeast Neenah under the leadership of Rev. Kenneth Wessel, who served the congregation faithfully until his retirement in 1988. At that time in 1961, Peace began with 11 families consisting of 29 communicant members and a total of 42 baptized souls. In forty years we have grown to over 750 baptized souls.
Worship services continued to be held at the Neenah Rec for the next 3 years and 2 months. Midweek services were held alternately at the Whiting Boat House and the old white frame Danish Lutheran church on Church Street in Neenah. Members of Peace faithfully took turns storing and transporting the portable altar and lectern in their car trunks from place to place and setting them up for services each week.
Land was purchased in August of 1961. Then just a farm field in Southeast Neenah, it was soon to see some major changes. On May 24, 1964, with the help of South Wisconsin Church Extension Fund, Peace Lutheran Church dedicated their first worship facility, thus realizing their dream to offer a Missouri Synod church with its solid Bible tradition and strong mission emphasis to families in Neenah. From May 24th of that year until February 1, 1976, services were conducted in what has now become our Fellowship Hall. Due to increased membership and expanding needs, it was decided to build a larger facility. Thanks once again to the Lutheran Church Extension Fund, that became a reality and was dedicated on February 8, 1976. The building at Peace has continued as we added more Sunday School rooms, new office, and added and remodeled our Sanctuary and Narthex in 1997. Our newly remodeled Sanctuary seats 325, and our Fellowship Hall accommodates 200. We have added a Choir area and an alcove for the Organ and Piano. The building is now completely able to accommodate the physically handicapped with floor level communion. We have been privileged and truly blessed to worship God within the walls of this beautiful building.