By Nathan Kerner
Kenneth Wheeler has spent almost the entirety of his adult life in the church. First entering Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota in 1970, Wheeler would graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Religion four years later. Kenneth, coupling his passion for the Good Word with his enthusiasm to serve his fellow man, decided to pursue a career as a Pastor. He only recently retired, yet his service continues.
Kenneth earned his Doctorate of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, OH, in 1982, and would answer calls to the congregations of Fellowship Lutheran Church in Jacksonville, Florida and Community Lutheran in Los Angeles, California. It was in 1986 when Kenneth answered a call that would bring him to Milwaukee, which has been his home since.
After brief service at Hphatha Lutheran Church, Kenneth became the assistant to the Bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod, a post he would hold for 18 years. Kenneth was then called to Cross Lutheran Church, where he would serve as Senior Pastor.
During Kenneth’s tenure at Cross Lutheran, he became the active leader of several ministries at the church; his greatest involvement was in the Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry. Bread of Healing focuses on empowering individuals to take control of their own lives and to never lose hope. Its key feature is assisting those in poverty by providing free meals, assistance in finding employment, and providing counseling for those with substance abuse issues. Cross also opened two satellite clinics to expand its free clinic for those without medical insurance.
Kenneth recently retired as the Senior Pastor at Cross. However, Kenneth was asked to stay on as the head of Bread of Healing. He agreed, and will remain there for the remainder of his term. Kenneth has stated his intent to retire permanently at the end of his current term. He is looking forward to spending more time with family and enjoying the fruits of his life of service.
Kenneth has been joined on his life of service with his wife of 37 years, the former Cloria Elizabeth Lewis. Cloria is a retired teacher and administrator at Milwaukee Public Schools. Kenneth and Cloria have three sons, Kenneth, Eric, and Harrison, and they are grandparents of three grandsons.