Who We Are

Our Story

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).

Susan Bruk

Worship Pastor and Women's Ministry

Susan Bruk has been in worship ministry since she was 16 years old. She studied Music Education at UW-Madison. She is an accomplished songwriter and has produced several albums as a soloist as well as with her current group “Sacrifice of Praise”. She has been a worship leader at conferences and churches throughout the country. She was the Worship Director at Shoreland Community Church from 2006-2019. Susan became the Worship Pastor at Rise MKE in January 2020. After she lost her husband in 2002, God has given Susan a heart to testify to His absolute sufficiency.

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.

Patrick Wood

Elder and Men's Ministry

Bill Abrahamson


Scott Woodin

Elder and Mission Trip Coordinator

Nancy Stevenson

Ministry Support and Mission Trip Coordinator

Elizabeth Zimmerman


Elise & Kurt Wallgren

Communications Coordinator (Elise),
Financial Bookkeeper (Kurt), and Young Adult Ministry

Anna Bruk

Young Adult Ministry

Heidi Ames

Connections Ministry

Christine Behling

Volunteer Coordinator

Jan Jensen


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Statement of Faith

What We Believe

About God

God is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. He has eternally existed in three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These three are co-equal and are one God.

About Humanity

We are made in the image of God, to be like Him in character. We are the supreme object of God’s creation. Although we have tremendous potential for good, everyone is marred by an attitude of rebellion toward God called sin. Sin separates people from God.

About Eternity

People are created to exist forever. Every person will either exist eternally separated from God by sin, or in union with God through forgiveness and salvation. To be eternally separated from God is hell. To be eternally in union with Him is heaven. Heaven and hell are places of eternal existence.

About God the Father

God is a triune and personal God. God the Father is one of three persons of the trinity. As with the Son and Holy Spirit, our Heavenly Father is holy, eternal, perfect, all-powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent. His love for us is unconditional and irreversible.

About Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is equal with the Father. Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary by miraculous conception, lived a sinless human life and offered himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all by dying on a cross. He arose from the dead after three days demonstrating His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory where He is the only Mediator between God and people, and will return again to earth. He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

About the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is equal with the Father and the Son as God. He is present in the world to make people aware of their need for Jesus Christ. He also lives in every Christian from the moment of salvation. He provides the Christian with power for living, understanding of spiritual truth and guidance in doing what is right. The Christian seeks to live under His control daily.

About Salvation

Salvation is a gift from God to all people. Men and women can never make up for their sin by self-improvement or good works. Only by trusting in Jesus Christ as God’s offer of forgiveness can a person be saved from sin’s penalty. When God has begun a saving work in the heart of any person, He gives assurance in His Word that He will continue performing it until the day of its full consummation.

About God’s Dependability

Because God gives man and woman eternal life through Jesus Christ, and adopts them as His own, salvation is received and maintained by the grace and power of God—not by the self-effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives believers the assurance of salvation. No power in the universe can separate God’s children from Him.

About the Bible

The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is God’s word to all. It was written by human authors, under the supernatural  guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures are inspired by God, and are infallible and inerrant in the original manuscripts. They are the unique, full and final authority on all matters of faith and practice, and there are no other writings similarly inspired by God.

About Faith and Practice

Scripture is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice. This church recognizes that it cannot bind the conscience of individual members in areas where Scripture is silent. Rather, each believer is to be led in those areas by the Lord, to whom he or she alone is ultimately responsible.