– Ben Martens

Come to the WELS

I belong to a national church body called the “Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.” Every month, they put out a video called “WELS Connection” to share what’s happening around the rest of the synod. The videos are short and are usually shown after church. As a kid, it was always fun to see the TV wheeled out and the VHS tape popped into the VCR. Each video started with a very 90s song called “Come to the WELS.” (Any of you fellow members over the age of about 25 now have this song stuck in your head.)

The videos use a different song today, but it got me wondering how long that song was used. It’s fairly difficult to find any information partly because there isn’t much available and because there’s a more popular Counting Crows song called “Come to the Well.”

After searching around on YouTube for more time than I’d like to admit, I realized I should check the WELS website and sure enough, they have an archive that goes all the way back to 2009. In September 2009, the videos switched from “Come to the WELS” to “Jerusalem the Golden” and then in June 2013, they switched to “In Christ Alone” which is still in use today.

But I still have unanswered questions. Who wrote “Come to the WELS”? Who sang it? Who decided to replace the flutes at the end with kids singing? Was the whole song rerecorded for that change? What does Pastor Rosenau think when he looks back at his Jan 2009 appearance? What’s Pastor Bill Burnhardt up to? What would happen if you listened to that song for an hour straight?