English Lutheran Church of Bateman

English Lutheran Church of Bateman

Note: This church is combining with St. James Trinity to become a two-point parish. 

 The English Lutheran Church of Bateman is located on County Highway X in Chippewa Falls, not far from where County X and Highway 29 intersect. The Scandinavian Lutheran Church of Chippewa Falls began a mission to create the Bateman church in 1906, when services were held in homes and eventually in the schoolhouse.

Many Scandinavian families were involved in soliciting funds to build a church on the one acre lot donated by the Wisconsin Central railroad. The neighborhood had individuals of mixed ethnic origin, many of whom would only support the new church if the services were held in English. Hence it was named “English Lutheran” so that everyone would know the language spoken there. Realistically, however, a number of the parishioners did not speak English, so every third service was held in Norwegian for several years.

The church cornerstone was laid in 1913. A donated bell arrived in 1919 and was rung one half hour before church so the congregation, with horse drawn buggies, could arrive on time. In those early days, it was customary for the women and men to sit on different sides of the church. In 1921, Mertie Barquist declared that if her husband was going to come to church, she was going to sit with him. And then she stood up and did just that!

The church occupies the boundary of the Cadott and Chippewa Falls school districts. A parsonage sits just west of the current church building, which was erected in 1958 when the congregation was in joint affiliation with Big Drywood Church of Cadott.

The church became a part of the Norwegian Church of America in 1945, the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1961, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) in 1987. It became a one-point parish in 1983 and held a centennial celebration in 2013. The latest reported number of baptized members is 344, with an average service attendance of 78.