Who We Are
Formally launched in January of 2020, Rise MKE is a culmination of God’s unyielding faithfulness and the persistent prayer and devotion of a small group of faith-filled believers.
Shoreland Community Church served the northeastern portion of Milwaukee County from 1995 through 2019. Many people came to Christ and grew in faith through her ministry. In 1999, Shoreland merged with Deerwood Baptist Church, a church that had served in Brown Deer since 1960. Their ministry was located on Deerwood Drive in Brown Deer, and Shoreland operated out of that church building until 2012. For decades, many faithful believers had given sacrificially and participated in the work of Christ as a part of those two churches. Unfortunately, the church building was in disrepair and would have required hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix. The hard decision was made to leave the Deerwood Drive location, put the property up for sale, and meet on Sundays at Cardinal Stritch University.
With the Deerwood Drive property to sell and a strong desire to maximize impact in the Kingdom of God, the leadership and body of Shoreland made a sacrificial decision. From 2017 through 2019 they prayed fervently and publicly for a “New Jerusalem”. As the sale of their property grew closer to reality, the faithful congregation of Shoreland Community Church prayed for God to show them a new home in Milwaukee County. As they prayed, God led them to more than a new location, He called them to a brand new ministry! After years of God’s provision and spiritual preparation, the property, which was located on Deerwood Drive in Brown Deer, finally sold. The congregation continued to seek God as to what and where this new ministry would be. The pursuit of God’s will, the prayers and generosity of the faithful people of Shoreland, and God’s incredible faithfulness and provision led to the birth of Rise MKE!
With the purchase of their first church building on the corner of 60th and Dean, Shoreland Community Church turned her focus to preparing the building for a brand new ministry! The Shoreland church body poured in thousands of hours of work and over a hundred thousand dollars to get it ready for the launch of Rise MKE! The transformation was truly remarkable (see the video below)!
Like all churches, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the plans of Rise MKE. We had planned an Easter 2020 Grand Opening Weekend. However, with the lockdowns put in place, our Grand Opening never happened. But God was faithful. He continued to build our base by bringing some wonderful people to RISE in spite of the pandemic!
As RISE continued to grow, our first location had limitations; we had a small parking lot, no first floor bathrooms or fellowship space, and limited space in our sanctuary to accommodate our attendees. While RISE was tackling these barriers, our ministry got connected with another local congregation just several blocks north of our first location. The people of Trinity Community Church faithfully served God at their building for years, and they were looking to sell their building to another church. After a year of diligent prayers and discussion, Trinity Community Church sold their building to Rise MKE for a fraction of the true value of the building. God once again provided! After more renovations and hours of work, the people of RISE moved to our current location at 9450 N. 60th Street (see the images below).
At RISE, we believe in an awesome God who can do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine! As we head into the future, we do so determined to preach the gospel and impact the community for Christ without regard to any obstacles that are thrown our way. We know that without a doubt, our greatest days are yet to come!
What We Believe
Rise MKE Core Values
Staff and leaders
Jay and Cheri Perkins
Lead Pastor and Wife
Pastor Jay and Cheri Perkins have been in ministry since 1996. He attended Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and soon after planted a church in Watertown, Wisconsin. In the fall of 2002, Pastor Jay accepted a call to be the Associate Pastor of Shoreland Community Church. He served as the Associate Pastor until becoming the Senior Pastor in 2005 and served through 2019. Pastor Jay became the first Lead Pastor of Rise MKE when RISE began in January of 2020. He has also been the chaplain of the UW-Whitewater football team since 2015.
Pastor Jay and Cheri have two adult sons, Zach and Shane. Zach is married to Cassie (Schaut), and they have a daughter named Rowen. Shane is married to Courtney (Tollefsrud).
Worship Pastor and Women's Ministry
Susan has three adult children, Evan, Anna, and Elise, who is married to Kurt Wallgren. Susan and her family enjoy hiking in God’s creation and playing games together.
Elder and Men's Ministry
Elder and Mission Trip Coordinator
Ministry Support and Mission Trip Coordinator
Elise & Kurt Wallgren
Communications Coordinator (Elise),
Financial Bookkeeper (Kurt), and Young Adult Ministry
Young Adult Ministry