Our History

Reverend Duane T. Wuggazer and Reverend Theodore Wuggazer

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer’s first worship service was held on November 23, 1924.  Birmingham was a small, rural village when the Detroit pastoral conference surveyed the area and considered it a likely location for a new mission.

Six months later, on May 10, a small chapel was dedicated on the corner of Lincoln and Ann streets and under the guidance of Rev. Theodore Wuggazer, Redeemer’s early congregation began to grow.  The Depression years were difficult on the church as families moved away in search of employment.  In 1938 the congregation voted to transfer its membership from the English District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to the Michigan District of the LCMS.  This step provided much-needed financial support and within two years the parish numbered 120 communicants.

Buoyed by vision and hope, Redeemer purchased the present 6 3/4 acre site on which it now rests and built a new worship center modeled after the colonial Martha and Mary Chapel at Greenfield Village.  The new church was dedicated on June 19, 1942.

Postwar years brought growth and expansion.  Several times in the years that followed, the sanctuary was enlarged and educational facilities were added.  The Sacred Space campaign began in 2010.  The Town Square was added to the West Entrance and several building renovations took Redeemer to its current size.

In 1962 Rev. Duane Wuggazer, son of Rev. Theodore Wugazzer, joined the pastoral staff of Redeemer and after the untimely death of his father in 1966 became Senior Pastor.  As ministries were expanded new professional staff members were added to meet their needs for spiritual growth and care.

Since that time, the congregation has been sustained and nurtured by the ministry of Pastor Duane who was joined in ministry by Reverend Randall Schlak in 1998.  Following Pastor Duane’s retirement in 1999, Pastor Randy assumed the role of Senior Pastor. In November 2001, long-time Redeemer staff member, Cary Richert, was ordained into the holy ministry and became Redeemer’s Associate Pastor.   In the summer of 2009, Rev. Duane Wuggazer’s son, Mark, was ordained and like his father and grandfather before him has stepped up to the pulpit to share the word of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  (Pastor Mark has since taken a call as Senior Pastor to another congregation)  On June 14, 2016, Reverend Duane T. Wuggazer, Emeritus joined the saints in heaven and at the end of August 2017, Reverend Cary Richert retired.

Redeemer continues to be a vibrant congregation where God’s love in Jesus Christ inspires us to invite neighbors and friends and people just like you to sit down with us at His table.  He reassures us that there is a place for everyone to feast on the abundant gifts of his grace and mercy.

We hope and pray you will come and see us soon!

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