Skip to content

‘A Good Beginning . . . ‘

From my viewpoint in the back row (again), I was pleased to hear how quickly the milling crowd shelved its social skills when school President John Pfeiffer invited our attention to the opening service at Immanuel Lutheran College (ILC), which included the installation for the new professor, Paul Sullivan.

It was a good beginning. Good for the students because they have received another gift of God bearing His blessings for their growth at ILC; good for Prof. Sullivan, for the Lord thus enables him to reenter a service career in the public gospel ministry.

Born into the Christian home of John and Madeleine Sullivan, educated at a variety of schools (parochial and public, US and overseas), Paul found that his interests led him to study art at UW Milwaukee and UW Madison from 1963-1965; he then was led to pre-theological studies, attending Northwestern College at Watertown, Wis. graduating in 1968 with a BA degree. Military service in the US and Vietnam (1968-1970) broadened his life experiences before he resumed his theological studies at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis. from which he graduated with the Master of Divinity degree in 1974.

From 1974-1989 Prof. Sullivan served as pastor of Lutheran parishes in Grafton, Wis., Bethel Park, Pa., and Two Rivers, Wis. When he and his family severed fellowship with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod for confessional reasons (1989), the Lord provided new beginnings again: employment at Dayco Eastman (1989-1997), and the Sullivan family of Manitowoc, Wis. became members of Luther Memorial in Fond du Lac, Wis.

October 11, 1974 marked another of the good beginnings in Paul’s life when he married Jan Balko who had been serving as parochial school teacher in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They have been blessed with five children: Rachel, former ILC student now at UW-Eau Claire; Hannah, former ILC student now at Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, Wis.; Daniel, currently a freshman at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Oberlin, Ohio; Tabitha, a senior at Immanuel Lutheran High School (ILC-HS); and Elizabeth, a junior at ILC-HS. They have all had the good beginning of homeschooling for many, if not most, of their pre-college years.

Getting back to Prof. Sullivan’s good beginning at ILC –his courses include the high school subjects of sophomore English and junior religion; in college, freshman composition, sophomore survey of literature, and church history. When interviewed, the new professor declined to elevate any one of these courses above others, saying that they’re all his favorites.

May He Who has begun a good work in them continue to bless both our students and professors unto the good ending He has in store through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus.

— Paul R. Koch