History of Lutheran Campus Ministry – Oshkosh
Lutheran churches of Oshkosh did outreach to campus students. Nan Mueller, a lay outreach worker, was supported by Christ Lutheran Church. She was able to generate enough student interest so that a full time pastor could be called the following year.
1968 – 1973
Pastor Paul Franzen was called as the first pastor of campus ministries. In the beginning the ministry was located at Christ Lutheran. In 1970 Lutheran Campus Ministry moved into the Newman Center, which was set up as an Ecumenical Center with seven full time staff representing Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopalian, United Church of Christ, Methodist, and Jewish faith. Together they were known as the University Christian Movement, which was a national organization. During this time the ministries worked together for Black Student rights, Earth Day, and did retreats.
1973 – 1979
Pastor Jim Bartos was called as pastor. During this time Hunger Fasts were started, urban plunges and service projects were held, and foreign film festivals were started. A drug and alcohol task force was also started at this time.
1980 – 1986
Pastor John Kautz was called to serve as campus ministry pastor. Lutheran Campus Ministries began to look for a new location as it was time for their own space. In 1982 the current location of the Gathering Place, 620 Elmwood Ave., was purchased from the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and became home for the ELCA campus ministry and United Ministries in Higher Education.
1986 – 1991
Pastor Jim Holthus was called. An Endowment Fund was started during this time, with the hope of providing funds so that a peer ministry program could be supported in future years.
1992 – 2004
Pastor Kathryn Schreitmueller was called following an interim pastor in 1991. The Lutheran Campus Ministry Center continued to work with other groups ecumenically. Thursday evening worship occurred every Thursday school was in session at the Gathering Place. Bible discussions and studies started up again and leadership training was provided for the peer ministry team members. Service trips both locally and nationally were established as well as participation in national conferences and gatherings.
2004 – 2005
Andy “Mo” Moscinski was called to serve as interim campus ministry director for the 2004-2005 academic school year as Lutheran Campus Ministry reevaluates program and staffing needs. A joint partnership between Lutheran Campus Ministry, Crossways Camping Ministries (outdoor ministries), and the East Central Synod of Wisconsin (ELCA) was developed to establish a staff person for the year, to primarily work with students and build relationships. Weekly worship and peer ministry meetings continued as well as retreats, service events, and participation in the Lutheran Student Movement national gathering over New Year’s Eve.
2005 – 2008
Pastor Frank Conner was called to serve as Campus Ministry Pastor for the 2005-2006 academic school year. Weekly worship and peer ministry meetings continued as well as service events and retreats.
2007 – Present
Campus Minister Connie Weiss directs the daily operations of the Gathering Place today. Weekly worship and peer ministry meetings continue as well as service events and retreats.