In the eighties, a community of prayer and cell groups started to grow within the Reformed Church of Winterthur-Seen under the leadership of Geri Keller and his wife Lilo. As time went on, their ministry kept growing and started to impact others. In 1992, the Keller’s left the parish ministry in order to fully dedicate their lives to their new calling. In order to perform all the tasks associated with this growth, the Stiftung Schleife (engl: Schleife foundation), based in Winterthur, was founded on the factory premises of the same name. Connected to the Stiftung are the Schleife Publishing House and the Schleife Community, which unites persons of responsibility and employees who call the Schleife their spiritual home. A generational change was initiated in 2008 by transferring the management of the foundation to Andreas Keller and, in 2010, the Schleife Community to Andreas and Stephanie Keller. In 2014, Andras Keller took over the mandate of the Head of the Board of Trustees. Since 2019 Jochen Thomann is the executive director of the Stiftung Schleife, while Andreas and Stephanie Keller hold the general management.
Expansion at the Schleife location
In November 1992, the rental agreement for the top floor of the building on the Schleife premises was signed. Following intense demolition work, the renovation went full speed ahead in 1993.
Subsequently, the number of seminars and counseling sessions increased. In October 1994, the Tuesday Service was brought into being and an additional attic in the building was rented and renovated.
In 1998, the Schleife Publishing House was founded and additional roof space was rented. This step made it possible to install additional prayer rooms and a seminar room including a kitchen compartment.
From 2000 - 2001, an additional rental agreement was signed for the hall, where seminars and church services could be held, and, two years later, the Schleife's own space for the Publishing House including multi-purpose rooms was created on the second floor of the building.
Shortly afterwards, the Schleife refurbished part of the red house (former steward's house) and created two apartments for students. In 2011, one of the two apartments was furnished and is now used as consulting center of the Family Workshop.
The name «Schleife»
The «Schleife» derives its name from the factory premises of the same name. Since the Middle Ages, the textile industry has played a significant role in the economic life of Winterthur. Today's factory building of the Schleife was built during 1829-1831, while the name «Schleife» (engl: grinding shop) originates from the mechanical «Schleifwerke» (engl: grinding factory).