The year is 1999 and Lake Country Lutheran is opening its doors for the inaugural school year with 5 students! This first school year set the foundation and tone for what is LCL today. I had the opportunity to sit down with founding principal, Mr. Mark Bahr, and learn so much about the early days of LCL.
Mr. Bahr was serving at Milwaukee Lutheran High School when the idea was pitched to open a new school, originally to the north side of Milwaukee. However, when that didn't pan out due to struggles finding the correct location the Lutheran High School Association of Great Milwaukee landed on expanding west to Hartland. With no name, no building, or students Mr. Bahr said Yes! He, along with those five students and one teacher (Mr. Hank Hoffman) all said Yes! Truly a God breathed Yes!
It takes a lot of faith to step into the unknown, this type of faith is written all throughout scripture with Moses & Aaron leading the Israelites out of captivity or Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water. God moved in the hearts of all those involved when starting LCL. He encouraged them to step into the unknown and spread the love of God though education in the Lake Country Area. It was in that first year, using space at Divine Redeemer Lutheran Church and School, that Mr. Bahr, Mr. Hoffman and the students of LCL established Biblical Truth and Relationships as staples of LCL. Two values that continue to stand firm today.
Mr. Bahr and I also talked about the physical location changes and growth of LCL over the years. From Divine Redeemer classrooms, to the trailers in the parking lot, followed by a move to the old YMCA building in Oconomowoc, and finally to its permanent resting spot in on Campus Dr in Hartland. Many alumni and families may look at LCL today and say “that’s not my school” or “there’s the building we saw drawings of” which is a real evaluation…. However, he routinely reminded me (I am an “06” LCL alumni) that “it was NEVER about the building”. LCL has and will ALWAYS be about the people! Relationships matter and Jesus makes all the difference!
Eight of the current staff members have been with LCL for 16+ years. Three of those eight have been employed by LCL for 19 years. Three former students now teach at LCL, with handfuls that serve as coaches in youth programs. It has never been about the building. It has always been about teaching His truth and building relationship! Alumni, I encourage you to reconnect with LCL if you haven’t been back in a while. The walls that now stand are because of you. Without you blazing the trail, we would not be what we are today. We are the same LCL with the same great teachers, with the same great message, and with the same great impact.
There are plenty of opportunities to visit LCL with the major LCL Honors Event (November 17th, 2019) We invite you to come see how your legacy at Lake Country Lutheran is still impacting the students today!
We will continue to unpack LCL’s History through blogs, Vlogs, and Facebook throughout this school year. Make sure you are connected to stay up to date. Go Lightning