Now and Then
The American Lutheran Church (later to become the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, or ELCA) began hosting campus ministry at Colorado State University (CSU) by calling Rev. Edgar Larson. They held worship at 500 Matthews St. in Fort Collins, women in the congregation provided students with Sunday evening dinners, and social events were also hosted for students.
Rev. Edgar Larson finished his call, and Rev. John Halston was called to campus ministry for the ALC in Fort Collins. He eventually went on to lead the campus group "University Lutheran."
Prior to 1965
Campus ministry for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) was carried out by St John's Lutheran Church in Fort Collins. Students were provided worship with the congregation, Sunday morning Bible classes, and overseeing of the student organization Gamma Delta.
Rev. Robert Schmidt was called by the LCMS to serve as full time campus pastor for CSU.
Soon after, worship services began being held in the Student Center on campus, with Sunday services attracting between 25 and 40 students every week.
The LCMS student organization took on the name "Grace University Lutheran." They began using Danforth Chapel on campus, however in the spring of 1967, all church groups were forbidden from holding meetings in the building, including Grace University Lutheran.
For the remainder of the spring, Grace University Lutheran used St. Paul's Episcopal Church to hold their services.
National Lutheran Campus Ministry (NLCM) was overseeing campus ministry for the ALC. They ran a campus group called University Lutheran, led by Rev. John Hallston, who worshipped in a house located at 805 S. Shields St.
The NLCM approached the LCMS about creating a shared chapel on campus, and ground broke in 1967 to remove the house present on the lot and build the new place of worship for these communities.
During this time, University Lutheran (run the NLCM) and Grace University Lutheran (run by the LCMS) got permission to use the Old Main Auditorium on campus until their chapel was completed.
The building for joint worship was finished! The building was christened as St. Thomas Chapel.
University Lutheran and Grace University Lutheran combined into one joint congregation. 10 a.m. services were held on Sunday mornings, with between 80 and 110 participants most weeks. These participants included not only students, but also CSU staff and Fort Collins community members.
When asked about the combination of the two campus organizations, Rev. Robert Schmidt of Grace University Lutheran commented "Relations between the groups have been good overall. Worship problems were avoided to a great degree by having each pastor conduct services for the students he was serving. All programs and activities begun before the merger were continued, and several new ones were instituted such as the faculty house churches and the childrens’ church for children of the chaplains, faculty, and married students."
"Faculty" house churches began and were hosted by the new name for the combined worship group, Lutheran Campus Ministry at CSU (or LCM-CSU). For this, CSU staff and community members would host monthly gatherings in their homes throughout the community. During this time there would be a potluck dinner, worship, discussion generally focused on a relevant book, and communion.
Following the departure of Rev. Hallston and Rev. Schmidt, Rev. Fred Castor was called to be campus pastor for LCM-CSU. During his ministry the community developed and matured and declared itself a Reconciling in Christ Ministry in the mid-80s. It also became a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Rev. Castor served at CSU for 19 years.
Rev. Scot McRae was called to serve.
Faculty house church ended after 22 years of monthly meetings.
Rev. Connie Winter-Eulberg was called to serve. She remained in this position for 17 more years.
Rev. Winter-Eulberg accepted a call elsewhere, and Chad Adamik to serve as interim pastor until a long-term pastor could be found.
Rev. Paul Judson was called to LuMin. He currently still serves and oversaw many renovations, the 50th anniversary of the building, and ministry adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 50th anniversary of Lutheran Campus Ministry is celebrated! The 50 for 50 fund was launched, where we aimed to gather $50,000 to assist in renovating much of the outdated building.
The first round of renovations for the building was completed. This included updating the bathrooms and adding in shower rooms that are ADA (Americans with Disabilitys Act) compliant, laundry services, and the LuLounge (dining area), along with asbestos removal and some structural work on the building.
The second round of renovations for the building was completed and the building was officially shown off to the public for celebration! The kitchen and chapel were updated and also made to fit ADA standards.