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Cross Lutheran Church is strongly rooted in Milwaukee’s near north side community. Since its founding over 140 years ago, Cross has been enriched by a strong African American membership. All the while still maintaining several of its legacy families. Over the years, this growing diversity has attracted seekers from near and far to be a part of our spiritual community. Currently, our 420 confirmed members are about 60% of African descent, 30% European Caucasian descent, and 10% other people of color. As a result, worship and social activities are intentionally multicultural and designed to be welcoming to persons from a variety of economic and ethnic backgrounds.
In 1991, Cross voted to become a Reconciling in Christ congregation. Since then, it has worked for a full inclusion and acceptance of its LGBTQIA+ members, rejoicing in their gifts and their lives. LGBTQIA+ members are welcome and active on all committees and at all levels of church management. Cross believes in celebrating same-sex marriages/unions, and has done so many times over the last 20 years.
As early as the 1980s, families at Cross have adopted children of other cultures and races. It’s all part of understanding that we are one extended family. Because of the diversity within the church, children of all shapes and sizes find not only an abundance of love, but also a chance to connect with those who look like them and can provide a touchstone of familiarity and shared experiences. Many of those families are still with us today.
Cross became a Sanctuary site in 1983 and hosted a Guatemala refugee for 4 years. Over the years, we have worked with many refugee families who have come to Milwaukee. They are from Central America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean Islands to Cross Church through the program. Since then, some (along with their families) remain active in the church to this very day.