Born on May 23, 1949, Gene E. Jahnke was raised on a dairy farm near Markesan, WI . He graduated from Northwestern Preparatory School, Watertown WI in 1967. In 1971 he graduated from Northwestern College, also in Watertown, with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree. While enrolled at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, WI, he was assigned as a vicar to Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Morton Grove, IL . He graduated from seminary in 1975 with a Master of Divinity degree. He also received credits from the University of Tel Aviv through his participation on an archeological dig in Israel in 1978. He has served as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church of Detroit (1975-‘79), St. John’s Lutheran, Wauwatosa, WI (1979-‘82), Good Shepherd Lutheran, Novi, MI (1982-‘93), and Palos Lutheran, Palos Heights, IL (1993-2005). He has served Beautiful Savior, Spooner since January of 2005.
In 1974 Pastor Jahnke married Betty Remias, a graduate of Dr. Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN. Betty is a special education teacher, and presently serves as Reading Recovery teacher leader in the Rice Lake school district.
God has richly blessed Pastor and Betty with the gift of three children: Geoff (Jeong-in), Heather, and Laura (Aaron). The Jahnkes have also been blessed with a grandson, Zachary.