Who We Are

About Us: The Spirit Lives On

A lot has changed in the 100+ years since St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church was founded in the small rural village of Pewaukee. Today the church is in the center of a fast-growing suburban area, housed in a large, accessible building that is home to a diverse group of churchgoers who come from many miles around. Despite all the changes, one feature of the original St. Bart’s remains. The warm, personal spirit of connection that drew our founding families together a century ago can still be felt, still survives and thrives. A surprising number of people tell us that they feel it the first time they walk through our door.

The reason is easy to understand: our 19th century founders were drawn together by their heart for Christ, and the same spirit still enlivens us today.

Today’s church building is far different from the little chapel they first built. Our extensive grounds contain a welcoming, rustic outdoor chapel space and a peaceful memorial garden. Go inside and you’ll find rooms bustling with activity.

  • The many sounds of worship, including traditional organ hymns, contemporary praise instruments, and plenty of praying voices throughout
  • Children’s classrooms filled with fun, yet touched with an inspiring reverence
  • Adult education events that reflect our biblical faith, yet maintain a respect for independent thought
  • All sorts of extra opportunities, from bible studies and personal care ministries to wild game dinners, international mission trips and beyond

The best way to understand St. Bartholomew’s is to pay us a visit and experience us firsthand.

You are always welcome to come and see what it feels like to become a part of St. Bart’s, no matter who you are and what your history may be. We’re a church full of people who think the past is worth celebrating, but who are far more excited about the future.

Our Mission

Our mission at St. Bartholomew: becoming the people God has created us to be

To accomplish this mission, we strive to create a welcoming, safe community built upon prayer, study and action as we go forth in the world to do the work we have been called and equipped to do.

Prayer takes place within an individual life, with the support of a small group and through worship as a full church family. As inspired by our Episcopal heritage, our benchmarks for spiritual discernment are the truth of Scripture, the application of reason and the guidance of Christian tradition.

Study is fostered through a life-long process that begins with children's Christian formation and continues in small group Bible study and challenging, edifying adult education.

Action finds its expression in a variety of ministry opportunities, offered locally by St. Bartholomew, in the wider Diocese of Milwaukee and in the community at large.

Leadership Team

Meet the Leadership: Led by the Spirit

The Vestry (Our governing board)
  • Dave Woods, Senior Warden

  • Will Fris, Junior Warden

  • Carl Bardenwerper, Treasurer

  • Don Thorson, Clerk

  • Kris Desmond

  • Robin Mueller

  • Stephanie Turks

Music Directors
  • Ethan Tarvin
Youth Education
  • Tammy Prather and Ilse Frayer
Children's Education

Pastoral Care
  • Barb Lentz and Joan Hart
  • Jan and Jeff Watter
Parish Administration
  • Jan Watter, and the SOS Team

The common thread our leaders share is a willingness to be led by the Spirit in ways that bless us all.

The Rev. Joel A. Prather

Fr. Joel received his Masters of Divinity in 2009 from Nashotah House Seminary. He was a chaplain in 2008 at Three Pillars Senior Living/Care Facility in Dousman, WI during his Clinical Pastoral Education while at Nashotah House. He then served as Assistant/Associate Curate  in 2009-10 at St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Frisco, TX. The Prather family were church planters, starting and growing Church of the Savior in Allen, TX from 2010 to 2014. In 2014, Fr. Joel started as rector at Christ Church in Delavan, WI. July 1, 2018 marked the beginning of his ministry at St. Bart's. Fr. Joel's passion is "to serve and lead a community to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength and to love one another after the example of Jesus chiefly through worship, biblical teaching, spiritual formation & pastoral care."

The Vestry

The church is governed by a board of elected parishioners. In a time-honored Episcopal tradition, we know them by an old and obscure name: the Vestry. Even though they no longer meet in the room which stores the priest and choir's garments (the vestments), they still guide the church's affairs as they did for our English ecclesiastical ancestors. The vestry manages the church budget, serves as the authority in personnel matters and all points of procedure. Our vestry is run by a Senior Warden, who is the presiding officer, and a Junior Warden. New members of the vestry are voted in at the church's annual meeting in January.

The Parish Administrator and The SOS Team

The Parish Administrator is at the center of many of St. Bart's administrative activities. She coordinates the efforst of the SOS Team, and she is the go-to person for weddings, funerals, baptisms, confirmations, and special events. She also coordinates pastoral requests and keeps a master calendar updated in the church office. 

At St. Bartholomew’s, SOS isn’t a distress signal. It’s the name for our Support Office Staff, a group of volunteers who keep a cool head while dealing with the church’s everyday administrative needs. SOS team members cover daily office hours and work on weekly tasks that including assembling the This Week newsletter, updating the Communication Center, preparing church bulletins and PowerPoint slides. They also have many other duties, from totaling church attendance and entering data into our Servant Keeper software to preparing activity sheets for children to color on Sunday morning, printing out parishioner name tags and arranging background checks for those who work with children. 

St. Bartholomew's

N27 W24000 Paul Court

Pewaukee, WI 53072

Phone: 262-691-0836