Home Church: Martin Luther Ev. Lutheran Church, Oshkosh, WI
Branch: U.S. Navy
Rank: Sk3 -Storekeeper (air freight)
After graduating in 1966 from Fox Valley Lutheran High School in Appleton, WI, I attended Bethany Lutheran College, Mankato, MN (A.A. degree) and WSU-Stevens Point, WI. In the Fall of 1969, I began my active duty in the U.S. Navy serving at the Naval Overseas Air Cargo Terminal (N.O.A.C.T.) on Hickam Air Force Base, a division of the Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, as military cargo liaison with the various commercial air lines at Honolulu International Airport.
Pastor Luke Tembreull, born May 1984
Currently serving: Our Savior Ev. Lutheran Church, Two Rivers WI
After looking up to my WWII Veteran grandfather for most of my life, I was a senior at St. Croix Lutheran High School in West St. Paul, MN on September 11, 2001. I remember watching the towers fall during my economics class. I went home that day and telling my dad that I wanted to join the military. He told me plainly, “No, you don’t. You have other things to do.” My dad wasn’t disrespecting the military; he was firmly reminding me that I had wanted to be a pastor since the sixth grade and this event didn’t change that.
Two years passed. I worked hard, but finally ran out of money to pay for college. I walked into the New Ulm armory and asked to speak to a recruiter, and made all the proper arrangements. I took my oath of service on October 25, 2003. The next summer I graduated basic training and the following summer my training as a Fire Direction Control specialist in the artillery. Returning from AIT, I learned that my unit was deploying to Iraq with a train up at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. My fiancé, Katie, and I moved up our wedding and got married on Labor day weekend. In mid-October, 2005, the 34th ID went to Camp Shelby. In March 2006, we were boots on the ground in Kuwait.
My unit was responsible for a small truck stop in Southern Iraq halfway between Tallil Airbase and Bagdad. During my time in Iraq, I was a gunner for the base commander’s personal security detail, then spent long months on base defense, then a few months in the base mayor cell. At the beginning of 2007, just as we were supposed to be heading home, the strategy changed. We were extended for 4 months. Over those last four months I returned to the PSD as a driver, until finally returning home to my wife in July 2007.
My wife had graduated college that spring, and we moved to Mankato together, while I finished my college at MLC, graduating in 2008. When I entered the Seminary that fall, I transferred to an artillery unit in Illinois, until my time of service ended in 2009.
In the fall of 2008, we were blessed with a little girl. I graduated seminary in 2012 and was assigned to Our Savior.
For my Seminary Senior Thesis, I wrote: Caring for Service members in the Reserves and the National Guard: A Pastoral Guide, in which I argued out that family issues and assimilation back into civilian life are the two places pastors could do more to support those who serve in reserve units. My heart is still with my brothers and sisters in arms. I think of those with whom I served often, although I mostly keep in touch through Facebook. I remember all service members in my prayers, and I hope that LMSG will be a valuable resource for their faith.
Pastor Bratz, United States Army (enlisted right out of high school). His Basic Training was completed in Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. His original enlistment was airborne infantry, but just before basic training was “recruited” into Army Security Agency AIT: Ft. Devens, MA (98C, Radio Traffic Analyst, Army Security Agency–Top Secret Code Word Clearance). Pastor Bratz was in Vietnam: 71-72, in ‘Nam the ASA was known as “Radio Research”. Pastor Bratz final assignment was Ft. Bragg, NC 82nd Airborne, he came home in June of ’73. In fall of ’74 went to Bethany Lutheran College on the GI Bill to begin the eight years of school in preparation for public ministry. Pastor Bratz served parishes in Abita Springs, LA, and Seattle, WA. He taught three years at Wisconsin Lutheran High School. Pastor Bratz has been at St. Peter’s in Mayville for almost 19 years
Lawrence Gates (Larry to most) grew up in Kenosha County in Paddock Lake. He attended Salem Central Grade School and Westosha Central High School. His great-grandmother was founding member at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in Bristol, Wisconsin. Larry graduated from high school in 1970 and after seeing the cost of college enrolled in the U.S. Navy. Larry attended book camp at Great Lakes Naval training center. After school he wanted into electronics and was accepted in the Advanced Electronics Program of the navy, but had to extend for two extra years to get this training. He attended my electronics schools in Dam Neck, Virginia (By Norfolk) and spent the next year and half in school. After school he went to sub school in Groton, Connecticut. Then assigned to the sub tender U.S.S. Holland from 1972-74. After a year in Rota, Spain he brought the tender to Charleston, S.C., then was assigned to the U.S. Abraham, Lincoln and helped transfer the sub from yards in Charleston to Guam by going through the Panama Canal. Then he served on the sub and made four tactical patrols on the sub and became the leading Petty Officer in charge of the Missile Control Center. It was during his third patrol where he got bored and decided to read the Bible from cover to cover in one of our two month patrol. Larry says “At that time God led me to see that my future was not in the navy and it was here that God led me to see He needed me to decide to get out and pursue the ministry. I got out in 1976 and because of my second career choice I was sent to Bethany Lutheran College and graduated from there in 1980. During this time I met my wife Kathy. We were married in 1978. God blessed us with five children and two grandchildren. I then went to Mequon for my final training. In 1982 I was assigned as vicar at First German in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. I graduated from sem in 1984 and was assigned to a small mission church just outside Peoria, Illinois. God blessed our work there and we tripled the size of the church in five years. I then took a call to Wausau, Wi. in 1990 to be pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church and to help start a brand new mission church in Rib Mountain. That church became Mountain of the Lord Lutheran Church and today that mission is over 300 communicants and is larger than the mother church. In 1995 I took a call to serve Trinity Lutheran Church in Waukesha, Wi and have been here to this time. I am now the visitation pastor and call on shut ins, prisons, nursing homes, hospitals, etc. We are now beginning a military organization to serve our military people and the vets because we continue to look for better ways to serve this congregation of over 1500 members. I enjoy the outdoors and am an avid golfer, fisherman and hunter.”