On Sunday, August 18 we gathered together for the Installation Service for our two new Pastors. Pastor Philip Bigelow will serve as our Resident Missionary and Pastor Steven Hillmer will serve as our Coordinating Pastor. Please take a moment to introduce yourself to them and their families.
Pastor Philip J. Bigelow
Pastor Philip Bigelow was born on July 30, 1980 to Ron and Ruth Bigelow in Lake Villa, IL (far north suburb of Chicago). He has two older brothers (Steve and Jeff) and an older sister (Lynn) and has enjoyed all of the perks that come with being the baby of four children.
Pastor Bigelow’s family began attending church at Faith Ev. Lutheran Church, Antioch, IL in 1989 and soon after was enrolled in Faith’s Lutheran grade school in 3rd grade. Pastor Bigelow continued his Christian education at Luther Prep School, Watertown, WI, where he began his studies for the pastoral ministry and graduated in 1998. He continued studying for the pastoral ministry at Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN graduating in 2002.
While attending MLC he met his future wife, Heather Knoll. She was born and raised as the youngest of five children to Jim and Gloria Knoll in Appleton, WI and attended Mt. Olive Ev. Lutheran Church and School in Appleton, WI. She graduated from MLC in 2003 receiving a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education with a music minor.
Pastor Bigelow continued his preparation and study for the ministry at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, WI where he received 3 years of classroom instruction and one year as a vicar at Redeemer Ev. Lutheran Church, Rice Lake, WI. He graduated in 2006.
On July 26, 2003 Heather and Pastor Bigelow were married at Mount Olive Ev. Lutheran Church, Appleton, WI. God has blessed their marriage with three children, Isaiah (12), Caleb (9), and Elijah (9 – yes, they are twins).
Upon graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Pastor Bigelow received his first divine call to serve as pastor of St. Peter Ev. Lutheran Church, Savanna, IL and Trinity Ev. Lutheran Church, Mt. Carroll, IL. He served there until 2011 when he accepted a divine call to serve at St. John Ev. Lutheran Church, Hemlock, MI, and served there until May of 2019 when he accepted the call to serve St. Matthew’s.
Pastor Bigelow enjoys reading, fishing, and as an avid Bears fan, watching Kahlil Mack sack Aaron Rodgers. Heather enjoys reading, taking walks, music, and spending time with friends. Isaiah, Eli, and Caleb are looking forward to meeting their new classmates at St. Matthew’s.
Pastor and Heather look forward to meeting all of God’s people at St. Matthew’s, the community of Oconomowoc, and thank you for the warm welcome!
Pastor Steven M. Hillmer
Pastor Hillmer was born in Fond du Lac, WI to Harold and Doris Hillmer, the youngest of 5 children. He attended Faith Lutheran Church and School, graduating from Winnebago Lutheran Academy in 1994. He continued his study for the pastoral ministry, first at Northwestern College, and then up to Martin Lutheran College, graduating in 1998. He attended Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and after 2 years in the classroom, he spent his Vicar year at Messiah Lutheran Church in Nampa, ID. Upon graduating the Seminary in 2002 he was assigned to Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Marietta, GA. After 6 years of ministry there, he accepted a call to start a WELS Home Mission in Sparks, NV, serving from 2008 until accepting the call here to St. Matthew’s.
Pastor Hillmer met his wife Jennifer while attending Martin Luther College. She is the oldest of 4 children to Dar and Bonnie Schramm. Growing up in Jackson, WI, she attended David’s Star Lutheran Church and School, graduating from Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in 1992. She graduated from MLC in 1997 and was assigned as a Tutor at Michigan Lutheran Seminary in Saginaw, MI where she served until 1999. In the fall of 1999, she taught and coached for one year at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. After years of being a great stay-at-home mom to 4 boys and assisting at church, Jenny took on a roll for 5 years as an Office Manager at Ziegler & Ames, a company that engraves cremation urns. Now she looks forward to helping out at St. Matthew’s First Steps!
Ben (18) just graduated from Luther Prep and is starting his first year at Martin Luther College in the Pastor track. Matthew (16) is starting his junior year at Luther Prep. Silas (13) will be an 8thgrader at St. Matthew’s and Jude (10) will be a 5thgrader. Together we all enjoy sports, music, fishing, going to the family cabin, water skiing and tubing. We’re big fans of Marvel, Star Wars, NCIS and curling. We look forward to meeting you, our St. Matthew’s family.