Worship Extravagantly, Relate Intensely, Love Unconditionally
The Encounter is a community of worshippers in Kenosha, Wisconsin who love Jesus Christ. We exist to see God’s purpose fulfilled on earth through the expression of His kingdom in our midst.
Plurality of Leadership
The word “Plurality” used in context of the Church is a way of describing shared leadership. It is a way of referencing back to the concepts established in the New Testament that leadership was (and is) a team enterprise, not one man’s charisma. When leaders acted in the New Testament, it was as a ruling body, not a one-man decree (see Acts 13:1–3; 15:22–23). Leadership at The Encounter is based on this concept. The only central figure at The Encounter is Jesus and him crucified and raised again. His example of servant leadership drives every decision we make as a team.
What We Believe
We are a group of flawed people, called into repentance by a loving God who, through trusted relationships, solid Biblical teaching and body ministry transform us daily into an effective force for the Kingdom.
We all have challenging things in our past. Regardless of where you came from, you will find acceptance in this body of believers. We will challenge you to grow, and we will walk with you on that journey but we will always love unconditionally.
We Worship Extravagantly
Do you want to be a passionate worshiper of God? We encourage the free expression of the spirit within us. Mary poured a years worth of wages on Christs feet. King David danced with all his might at the revelation of who God is. Those witnessing thought them crazy. We believe that the free, spontaneous expression of the unbridled emotion welling up within us powerfully conveys the revelation of what He has truly done in us. It must be true worship, but it will be extravagant.
We Relate Intensely
Body ministry forms the foundation of our culture. This leads to intense, deep, long-lived relationships. These relationships lead to overcoming challenges in our lives and rising to the complete fulfillment God has for our each of us.
1941 – The Light of Revival
The light of revival shines through the years. In the Fall of 1941, Brother Herbert H. Tocklin had a premonition of revival for the yet unformed Lakeshore Tabernacle. He dreamt of an oil fire blazing with fierce intensity in the auditorium of the
Foursquare church. The fire was symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Attempts to put the fire out with water (symbolic of salvation) only caused the fire to spread and burn brighter. “I believe God is on the verge of a mighty revival in this church”, he stated. The fulfillment of this premonition occurred in 1950 and Lakeshore Tabernacle was birthed from this outpouring.
1950 – Formal Organization
Lakeshore Tabernacle was formally organized on May 2, 1950, with a membership of about 300 people. Dr. and Mrs. Orville F. Broker were founding pastors. Under their leadership, the congregation purchased the old Lincoln Theater at 6923 14th Avenue. They built a two-story annex and remodeled the building.
1963 – The Light of Revival
In 1963, Dr. Broker purchased property east of 39th Avenue at 89th Street. There was sufficient land to build a home and a new church.
Just four months after the Brokers moved into their new home on July 17, 1964, The Lord suddenly called Dr. Broker home. He was 51 years old, Pastor of the church, President of Front Line Missions and Kenosha Bible Institute. He lived a full life, dedicated to God.
Dr. Broker’s vision for the church was, “God wants to have a church that is free in the Spirit; that believes in the whole Word of God, and the integrity of the Word, with the joy of the Holy Ghost moving upon us; singing a little, shouting a little, even jumping and dancing a little. We are going to march, and we are going to sing, and we are going to rejoice because a revival is coming this way. Praise the Lord, we are going to do what God wants us to do.”
In a vision, he saw a large tree that was budding. As a bud burst open it began to flower. He saw a word written above it and it said “LOVE”. The Lord said, “That’s the fruit, as love is manifested there shall be another one that shall burst open.” Some others that burst open were “Joy” and “Peace”.
As surely as love is manifesting in the lives of His people, the joy of the spirit will burst forth and the peace of God will burst forth in full bloom and there will be great rejoicing. “There is going to be revival when love bursts forth. They will not be able to contain the love and the joy that is there when they abide in Him: and out of the vine, and through the branches shall flow rivers of livıng water -to those round about who are needy – till the thirsty shall come to know Him who is the fountain of Life, and the weary shall find refreshing streams in the desert, and the sick shall bathe in the healing waters which flow for them.”
Mrs. Broker succeeded her husband as Pastor of the church, and as President of Front line Missions and Kenosha Bible Institute.
1966 – New Beginnings
In 1966 the church completed construction of Broker Memorial Hall. This hall housed Kenosha Bible Institute and provided a social building for the church. Shortly thereafter, the church began to build a sanctuary. The building was ready for occupancy in November, 1967. Reverend J. Andrew Freeborn was called to serve as Pastor in June of 1972 and pastored for three years.
1971 – The Vision Focused
In 1971, a prophecy by Betty Botts , stated “If thou would look at the land that I have given thee. Is it not a place that thou would park thy car upon, is it a place to toss a ball to and fro, but I have given you this land that thou would expand”, saith the Lord, “on, this day, this night, was given unto thee that thou might expand for me” saith the Lord… “My ways are higher than thy ways and I would say unto thee, if this people would fall upon their faces and repent I would give them strength, I would give them the heathen for their inheritance. Yea I will give you this city”, saith the Lord. “I will give ye the plan, it will not be thy plans, it will not be your program, but it will be my way”, saith the Lord. “But I say unto thee that this land that thou doest stand”
1975 – Ground Breaking
In 1975, Reverend Nelson E. Clair, came to Lakeshore Tabernacle. Under the guidance of Pastor Clair the expansion of Lakeshore began as prophesied. Ground breaking for a multipurpose building was held in April of 1978. The building was completed debt-free and dedicated October 19, 1980. The fall of 1982 marked the ground breaking ceremony of our present sanctuary.
1983 – Call to Revival
In April of 1983, Virgil Amundson gave a prophecy, stating “Now know that the spirit of the Lord doth move upon the land, by my mighty hand”, saith God. “I have called a mighty revival upon the land, I have called a revival upon the land, and yea, I will pour forth my spirit and it shall cause thee to know that the Lord thy God is thy chief God. He is thy chief God and there shall come no thought within thy heart to serve another for I the Lord thy God shall rule over thee. And my spirit shall move upon this area”, saith the Lord God, “and shall hover over this area, yea, I say prepare thyself, even prepare the granaries saith the Lord. “Even prepare the temple, for I shall come in as the King of Glory. And I shall establish my name”, saith the Lord, “and my name shall be a name of righteousness. Yea, it shall be name of holiness. My church shall be as one, the spirit of the Lord, yea, the spirit of the Lord doth move in this hour”
1986 – Moving Day
On April 20, 1986, we celebrated the “moving day” and thereafter held services in our new sanctuary. The dedication of our sanctuary was held on May 17, 1987. It was a glorious day of celebration and praise.
1995-2004 – Revival Brings Change
From 1995-2004, Reverend Everett Forner, Reverend Edward L. Day, and Reverend Craig Amos each served as senior Pastor to Lakeshore Tabernacle. Yet, a stirring prompted by a mighty outpouring of revival was occurring amongst the leadership. This was the beginning of our journey into the biblical eldership model. Each of the three senior pastors played a role in bringing this to fruition.
2004 – Body Ministry
In 2004, a formal commitment was made by the elders to pursue this direction as means to guide the body at Lakeshore. Since that time, God has been revealing key scriptural elements to move the leadership into greater understanding of plurality, the five-fold ministry building the body for works of ministry, and relational authority.
2018 – The Encounter Birthed
In January of 2018, when bringing forward the possibility of a name change, the body cheered and applauded the title of “The Encounter”. As Lakeshore Tabernacle, The Encounter was birthed in revival, experienced a second wave of revival that brought revelation of plurality, and we are expecting the name change to reflect the next great move of God.
The guiding prophesy of The Encounter has been and is today: Know you not, “says the Lord your God, “that I have called you out of bondage and darkness, and I have set you even as a lighthouse: A light that will shine forth to a lost generation. As this light shines forth, I will cause other lights to break forth throughout the earth. I am going to call them from the North, the South, the East, and the West, and there will be a great in-gathering of souls because of the faithfulness of my people..
The guiding scripture of The Encounter has been and is today: Hosea 6v3a KJV “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord…”