University Lutheran Center

A partnership between Lutheran Campus Ministry at Iowa State University and Lord of Life Lutheran Church

University Lutheran Center History

  1. 1905    Lutherans begin to gather in Ames
  2. 1914    Bethesda Norwegian Lutheran church was organized and they officially invited Iowa State College Students to attend worship services. At the times there were 205 registered Lutheran students on campus. There were 3 Lutheran faculty members. One of them, Prof. O.A. Olson was bringing the Lutheran students together for worship and fellowship in his home.
  3. 1922    Iowa State College students helped to organize Lutheran Student Association
  4. World War II    National Lutheran Council cooperated with Lutheran Brotherhood to form “Hostess Houses” near military institutions, and near a University Campus where available. These Centers were called “Lutheran Student and Servicemen Centers” and each had a hostess.
  5. 1941    Iowa State College acquires its first Lutheran Student and Servicemen Center. The Center was the store building across Lincoln Way from Friley Hall.
  6. 1944    Center moved to another store: the 2nd store south of the Pipe Shop on Welch. The Center served servicemen returning to college campus by mending clothes, serving coffee and listening. At this time church activities were still held at Bethesda.
  7. 1945    Foundation Board was formed to raise funds. Along with Prof. Olson the Foundation purchased a white frame house at 125 Ash for $6,700. There was a full-time counselor then.
  8. 1950    Plans arranged and completed construction for the original part of a new Center at 2126 Gable Lane. A new Counselor. During this time questions were raised concerning the direction of the program: Should it be something of greater depth? Should the program center around facilities or people? Should there be worship service at the Center?
  9. 1951-54           St. Andrew’s organized and met for worship in the basement of Center. Some students joined the worship. Students decided to organize their own preaching mission. Rev. John Schultz was called on Jan. 1, 1955. Now the Center had a full time pastor and a full time counselor.
  10. 1955    Parsonage built at 3208 Ross Road. Mr. Willis Schellberg, architect and former LSA member (and I believe its president at one time) was consulted and began though as to chapel plans and future development of the Center.
  11. 1959    Rev. Bert Locher called. He organized the students into a congregational structure and University Lutheran Congregation is established. Foundation Board dealt with the long range matters and the students assumed responsibility of managing their own congregation and development of the Center.
  12. 1961-63           Plans formatted and carried out to construct a chapel large enough to be used for Sunday worship.
  13. May 1963        Chapel ground-breaking
  14. August 1963    Construction starts.
  15. March 1964     First service in new chapel
  16. April 1964        New chapel dedicated. Cost of $137,000, seating 370 with overflor of 130 additional. “His Service Investors” (HSI) organized to provide capital investment for the construction. They also gave support to Cristou Canoe which was conceived at this time. CC was a wilderness camping experience for Iowa High School youth.