Through the vision of faithful church leaders in the 1950’s, the first 25 acres of Lutherhill were purchased in 1954 from Phillips Petroleum that had used the location as a pump station.
Four staff houses and a brick pump station were converted into summer cabins and an administration and worship center. That center is now the dining hall, named for F.E. Eilers in honor of the Swiss Alp Lutheran Church pastor who served on the camp committee that found the land.
July 11, 1954, with 1,700 people attending, the camp was dedicated! Charles Vorkoper is credited with having contributed the name “Lutherhill” for the campsite. Mr. L. L. Appelt added ten additional acres to the site in 1957 and a pool was also built.
The 1960’s – 1980’s:
Two other land additions were made: 7 acres of fronting on FM 2145 plus 35 acres where the Challenge Course, pond, and RV loop are today. In the early 1960’s six new cabins were added and an outdoor chapel was constructed. By 1975 four more brick cabins had been built as Lutherhill began its third decade of operation.
Brief History of the Citzler Family at Lutherhill:
- (1967-68) Annie Citzler served as a cook
- (1967-94) Edna Citzler served as chief cook
- (1968-69) Arthur Citzler served as Site Manager
- (1971-Present) Gene Citzler serves as Site and Maintenance Manager
- (1973) Gene Citzler and Grandfather, Max Citzler, built the Citzler Center
- (1990-91) Missy Citzler serves as summer cook, and
- (1992-97) Carolyn (Citzler) Bennetsen served as cook
- Carolyn (Citzler) Bennetsen currently serves as Volunteer Coordinator
- Many other Citzler family members have also served at Lutherhill
Major renovations to the facilities have been underway the last few years. All ten cabins have been renovated, the Tree Chapel has been refurbished and nearly every building on the site has been re-roofed. Lutherhill has added a Hillside Store to carry gifts and souvenirs and also has remodeled the kitchen; an important part of camp life!
The Carby Chapel Center was completed in the spring of 2006. The Board of Directors entered a new visioning process for the future, including a facilities master plan.
Lutherhill Ministries is grateful to its many donors who have supported the camp with monetary donations as well as volunteer hours over the decades. If you would like information on how to keep the ministry growing, click here or contact us.