November 22, 1852
A little group of ten families organized the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Church in the south side carpenter shop of Samuel Gabrielson – little could they foresee their act of faith would someday evolve into a big city church of ethnic diversity eventually including both Hmong and Hispanic congregations.
December 17, 1882
The cornerstone of a new brick church was dedicated on the same site where the frame church had stood. Times were hard and, facing a deficit, member volunteers maintained the building themselves.
Ground was broken “on the exact spot over which the Ascension altar now stands.”
The new edifice, at the present site on South Layton Boulevard, was dedicated.
A missionary from South America, Arthur Wyse, was called to lead the Spanish ministry.
A group of Hmong Christians living on the south side of Milwaukee approached Ascension looking for a place to worship and conduct Bible Study. Their wish was soon granted as they began meeting at Ascension under the leadership of Youa Vang Thao.
Outreach to the Hmong and Hispanic community was a focus of ministry in the 1990s, making many advances to indeed become a multicultural congregation.
Today finds Ascension still anchored on the near south side of Milwaukee. The neighborhood surrounding it is diverse and densely populated, and has been identified by many as the most culturally diverse community in the city of Milwaukee.