- Representatives from 30 churches in the Minneapolis District of
the Augustana Synod were invited to an organizational meeting regarding
establishment of Luther Park, Inc. Fourteen churches approved joining,
12 showed "no answer" and four were still "in process."
June 1959 - Luther Park becomes a reality! The Luther Park
Board voted to purchase the Luther Park property, "approximately
160 acres, more or less...for a total cost of $35,000."
June 1960 - Board authorizes borrowing up to $75,000 for
construction of four cabins, Food Service building and well.
Sept. 1960 - Groundbreaking service for Lodge/Food Service
May 1961 - Dedication Service for Luther Park at camp. A
"Moment of Dedication" celebrated in each member congregation.
1962 - Camp sold bonds to raise funds for building/renovation
1970 - Zion Boy Scout Troop 106 planted 1,000 trees.
1971 - New blacktopped Sports Area added for basketball,
volleyball and tennis.
Oct. 1975 - Board adopts first long-range plan, the Brauer
1979-1985 - Pastor Randy Gullickson serves as first full-time
1982 - Changed from clergy board to combination of lay and
1986 - First Phonathon organized.
1988 -Joel Legred hired as executive director.
1989 - Lodge roof rebuilt, insulated and re-roofed.
Feb. 1990 - Log House renovation begins.
June 1990 - Day Camp and Journey of the Cross programs begin.
July 1991 - First Luther Park Quilt Auction
1991 - Installed forced-air furnaces in four cabins. Elm
cabin renovation by Elim. Began publication of Echoes newsletter.
1992 - Received ELCA Award for Multicultural Ministry. Hired
Miller Creative Communications as communications consultant.
Spring 1992 - Began Echoes newsletter for campers
& friends of Luther Park.
March 1993 - Accepted updated Brauer master plan at annual
June 1993 - Hired Gronlund, Sayther, Brunkow to assist with
Nov. 1993 - Established Point & Cross Giving Club.
Dec. 1993 - Began construction on directors house;
house completed May 1994.
Dec 1994 - Donation received of 20 acres of land.
1995 - Funds donated to build deck on Lodge. Deck constructed
in 1996. Begin Teens in Mission (TIM Team) program.
Nov. 1995 - Re-roofed Maple cabin.
March 1996 - Approved new By-laws and Articles of Incorporation.
June 1996 - Fir cabin roof and renovation by Richfield Lutheran
1996 - Installed new windows in lodge basement. Re-roofed
three more cabins (Ash, Birch, and Elm).
1997 - Built pole barn. Added development/communication position.
First Point & Cross Thank You Dinner; issued plaques for 96.
Installed new sign at entrance. Completed re-roofing of final 2
cabins. First year of Cornerstone program.
May 1997 - Started construction of first Tree House.
Began publication of Reflections newsletter for Point &
Cross Club members.
Dec. 1997 - Sold 20 acres donated in 1994.
1998 - Built one Tree House, finished another started in
1997. Installed septic system for Shower House.
Sept. 1998 - Added office manager position.
1999 - Luther Park celebrates 40 Years of Fabulous Blessings!!!
1999 - Tree harvesting began. Completed remaining Tree Houses
for Tree House Village. Built outside shell and interior plumbing
of Bath House. Purchased and installed walk-in freezer and prep.
table for kitchen. Purchased 180 chairs for dining hall.
2000 - Tree house village dedicated and begins operation.
Picnic shelter constructed between Tree House Village and Campground.
Decks on Pine and Fir cabins. Removed underground oil tank for Lodge;
installed new propane furnaces in Lodge. Installed new septic tank
for Lodge bathroom. Tiled lodge bathroom floors. Carpeted Lodge
fireplace room. Received donation of house and double garage. Web
site complete and goes online.
2001 - New bunk beds for Hickory, Birch, Elm & Oak cabins.
New lighting in Oak & Hickory cabins. New bathroom fixtures
in Oak cabins. Replaced all windows in upstairs of Lodge. Carpeted
Oak cabin. Reinsulated Lodge walls and installed knotty pine planking.
Donated garage moved on-site.
2002 - Donated House (Welcome Center) moved on-site and renovation
begun. Interior of Lodge renovated (new paneling, windows, lighting,
etc.). Faith for the Future Capital Appeal began. Leadership Mentoring
Program begins. American Camping Association (ACA) accreditation
2003 - Pedal & Paddle Program begins.
2004 - The Faith for the Future Campaign continues to raise
funds for a Family and Adult Retreat Center. Gifts received brought
us one-third of the way toward our goal of $850,000.
2005 -Established Leadership Training Scholarship Fund thanks
to Pr. Michalene Verlautz. Mark Mauer received Outstanding Christian
Service Award. First Annual Glad Tidings Dinner and Silent Auction
at Luther Park
2006--Luther Park was hit by 70 mph straight line winds destroying
over 200 trees. Art Peterson from Nativity Lutheran received Outstanding
Christian Service Award. First Breakfast with Santa at Luther Park.
2007--Developed Great Lakes Mission Trip to Duluth. First
Grandparent/Grandchild Retreat at Luther Park.
Had a ribbon cutting ceremony of the Welcome Center at the Summer
Open House. Received 500 iPod Speaker/Docking systems that we are
selling for $75 each (Sold about 200). Art Caple from Bethany Lutheran
on 36th Avenue received Outstanding Christian Service Award. Board
approved the combination of the Welcome Center and Retreat Center
projects to create Retreat Village.
2008--New Choral Music Camp for campers Grade 6-8 in partnership
with Lutheran Music Program. Moved Offices and housing for Retreat
Host into Welcome Center. Completed Welcome Center Renovation.
2009 ---Celebrated our 50th Anniversary (1959-2009) since the
property was purchased.
--Kicked off the "Fit for the next 50" campaign to upgrade
all facilities for the next 50 years.
--Sold one 2.5 acre lake lot for $250,000.
--Outstanding Christian Service Award was given to Severt and Joan
--Re-accredited by American Camping Association.
--Received $200,000 naming gift for a Family and Adult Retreat Center
from Bethel Lutheran Church in Minneapolis.
--Re-roofed Program Director House on site.
--Began painting buildings on site.
--Began renovation of Fir Cabin.
--Removed Staff House.
----Continued renovations connected with Fit for the Next 50 campaign:
- Painted Ash, Birch, Elm, and Fir cabins;
-Completed renovation of Fir cabin;
-Renovated basement of Fir;
-Moved canteen from Pine basement to the basement of Fir;
-Re-roofed garage by the Welcome Center;
-Re-roofed and painted pump house and sports shed at the top of
-Re-roofed and primed garage at the top of the hill;
-Replaced commercial water heater in lodge for kitchen;
-Landscaped outside of Fir Cabin;
-Installed new power to Fir cabin;
-Installed new power from Fir to Ash, Birch and Elm cabins.
--Anna Treague, long time Luther Park Program Director, resigned
at the end of the summer.
--Kevin Schommer joined our staff as Retreat Host July 1st.
--Outstanding Christian Service award was given to Carl and Marilyn
Johnson and Randy Johnson.
---Continuing on the Fit for the next 50 upgrades to existing
facilities, the following projects were completed:
--Completely renovated Birch Cabin;
--Painted garage at the top of the hill;
--Painted Log House;
--Ran power to the Point;
--Replaced Condenser and Evaporator in Walk-in Cooler;
July 1 storm left us without power for 5 days so we canceled a week
of camp for the first time in recent memory;
Outstanding Christian Service Award was presented to Steve Grams
at Open House;
Vic Nelson was recognized for his 18 years working at Luther Park
upon his retirement;
Tree was re-planted in front of the lodge in memory of Ernest Wojahn(see
article in Winter issue of the Echo's);
Kevin Schommer was hired as Program Director on January 1;
Kevin left Luther Park at the end of the summer;
Danny Bennett was hired September 15th as Retreat Host.
2012- Donations of Gifts in Kind received:
--Piano was donated by Beverly and Chuck Enderson from Mount Calvary and was placed in Log House.
--Pontoon boat lift was donated by Pete and Marcia Brace.
--2000 Honda Odyssey Minivan was donated by Matthew and Nancy Peterson.
--Paddle Boat was donated by Pastor Howard and Chris Skulstad.
We received $15,000 for a new Pontoon boat, dock and other waterfront improvements from Rachel Schneider in honor/memory of husband John.
New windows were purchased and installed in final two cabins (Hickory and Maple) thanks to a generous donation from Pete and Jane Hill and volunteer efforts of Pete and two of his sons.
Deck on Pine Cabin was replaced by volunteers from Diamond Lake and others.
Began renovation of Pine Cabin by Diamond Lake members with funds provided by Diamond Lake.
Painted Hickory Cabin, with a special thanks to Art Caple for assisting with the painting of all of the buildings on-site.
Ten quality Prayer Benches were donated and installed around camp by Roger King from Nativity Lutheran Church.
Outstanding Christian Service award was awarded to Norma Peterson from Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, and to Sharon and Burt Miller from Richfield Lutheran Church.
Installed flag pole and planter near the Lodge in memory of Dorothy Fisher Carlson with funds given by family and friends from Richfield Lutheran.
Purchased new Convection Oven with funds given in honor of Paul and Ruth Bennett by family and others.