Blessed since 2014
A City for God/ Chaplains in Schools History
In 1998 religious schools were allowed to accept vouchers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A number of existing schools seized this opportunity including existing and newly created Christian schools.
In 2008, Pastor Paul Steinberg came to Milwaukee to serve at St. Marcus and made connections with HOPE Prima grade school through members of his congregation who were faculty members. For 6 years, Pastor Paul Steinberg led chapel occasionally at different HOPE schools and held some outreach services and baptized a number of scholars.
In 2014, the WELS district mission board asked Milwaukee ministers to suggest ideas for investing for gospel ministry. Pastor Paul Steinberg suggested to that board to send a missionary to the HOPE Schools. Dialogue with HOPE representatives showed a willingness to open their ministry and the concept was approved but not able to be funded in 2015. In December of 2015, Mike Murphy from the Kaztex Foundation visited St. Marcus and Pastor Steinberg in anticipation of supporting St. Marcus family ministry. During the visit, Pastor Steinberg shared the story of his ministry with HOPE and the concept of sending a chaplain missionary. Mike Murphy took that story back to the Kaztex Board and invited Pastor Steinberg to write a grant for a pilot program to place a chaplain at HOPE. In January, Kaztex gave a grant to St. Marcus to release Pastor Steinberg 40% and St. Marcus agreed to allow him to begin July 1, 2016. After meeting with a number of HOPE principals, HOPE Fidelis, the newest HOPE school was chosen to be the site of the chaplain program.
The summer of 2016, as directed by Kaztex Foundation, a board was formed for Chaplains in Schools with Mr. Paul Berger as president. Chaplains in Schools became its own incorporated non-profit organization and sought more partners for ministry. Soon after that, the Center for Urban Teaching (CFuT) approached CiS to partner with them in their summer school program. In February of 2017, the CiS Board based upon continued support of Kaztex and additional support of the Stimac Foundation, voted to move forward with a full time executive director and a part time assistant beginning July 1, 2017.
Looking forward to 2017-8, Chaplains in Schools will be adding a second site and will be serving at both HOPE: Fidelis and the larger of the two Shining Star schools. This will mean serving over 500 students and their families along with the school staff and moving forward on its 10 year vision.
At the start of the 2018-2019 school year Chaplains in Schools was blessed to share the gospel of Jesus every week with 5 schools and over 1500 scholars. Five full-time and part time chaplains serve at HOPE:Fidelis, HOPE:Prima, Shining Star: Capitol Campus, Shining Star: Fairview Campus and Kingdom Prep Lutheran High School.
From 2019-2023, through the pandemic, more organizations saw the need and blessings of having Chaplains in Schools partner with their organization. The Center For Urban teaching asked CiS to send intern chaplains into their 20+ summer schools that train future urban teachers in Milwaukee and Racine. Every summer since, chaplains have been trained as they served 200+ future teachers and 2000+ students in summer school at 20+ sites. Above the Clouds, an afterschool arts program, asked for a chaplain presence to supply the gospel and reach out to families of the 250+ students that come to their programs. Other schools that were added included HOPE Caritas, HOPE Semper, HOPE Fortis and St. Peter/Immanuel, a LUMIN school. Green Room Art Studios, an urban art ministry, was also added to the family of ministries and a partnership for discipleship was started with Fairview Lutheran Church and St. John’s on the Hillside. Because of this growth and diversity Chaplains in Schools is adding the parent branding of A City For God.
In the 2022-23 school year, A City for God serves over 4800 scholars and their families every week. The outlook and need to the A City for God ministry continues to grow.
In the 2023-24 school year, A City for God, through Fairview Lutheran, received a WELS Mission Enhancement grant, allowing Keri Jackson to serve only HOPE Semper. With the growth of the schools and addition of Granville Lutheran, ACFG is serving 5500 students during the school year and 1500 more during the summer in 30 different schools around Milwaukee and Racine.