Gamecock Lutheran

Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina

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Join us each Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. for a time of fellowship and pizza. (Unless it is Waffle Night!) 


Join us every Sunday for Holy Communion at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner.

New Here?

You might be wondering, what’s it really like at Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina? Simply stated, at Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina, we’re all about Grace. Not the person, or the prayer before a meal, but the unconditional love, forgiveness and mercy we have from God through Jesus.

You won’t be met with shame, guilt, or condemnation. And we don’t care how you’re dressed or what candidate you voted for. Our community is made up of imperfect people with every kind of story imaginable. Want to know the best part? No matter what you’ve been through or what questions you might have about God and faith, our church is a place where you’ll find the love, grace, and forgiveness Jesus gives to everyone. Please use the contact form below if you have any questions or would like to speak to our pastor.

Here’s the deal, Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin)  wants you to know the incredible love of God through Jesus Christ. At LuMin, you will gain a new family of individuals that have found hope and grace in Jesus, and simply want as many people as possible to experience that same freedom.

Student Leaders:

Digital media Director: Marianna Vimson ‘20 
Worship and Music Director:  Shelby Worst ’21
Programming director: Bryan Jehlen ‘19
Outreach Director Erin Metcalf  ’18 and Graduate student. 

Pastor Michele Fischer

Pastor Michele arrived in South Carolina at about 3 pm on New Year’s Eve 2014. She and her husband moved to Columbia when her husband, Neal, accepted a position in the bishop’s office as the new Director of Communications. Neal and Michele met in McLean, VA in 2000 and were married in 2002. Between the two of them, they have lived in a total of 8 states.

Pastor Michele is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary) and Susquehanna University.

The beginning of Lutheran Campus Ministry in South Carolina can be traced back to 1924 when the SC Synod formed the Committee on Student Work and started forming partnerships with local congregations near colleges and universities in the state. By 1930 there were Lutheran Student Associations (LSA) formed in all schools with identifiable Lutheran students, under the direction of Mary E. Marley. The first regional gathering of LSA was held at the University of South Carolina in the same year. From 1930 to 1962 Lutheran Campus Ministry at USC operated as a student organization under the leadership of local pastors and the USC Chaplain, (the University position was eliminated in 1965). In 1960 the number of Lutheran students at USC was 334 and at Columbia College, 28. From 1947-1950 Mildred Schalkhausen (Biser) was a Lutheran Student Association Lay Missioner and worked out of a house on the corner of Bull and Gervais Streets. She also worked with other campuses in South Carolina.

In 1962, Pastor Carl Ficken was called to serve the Columbia schools and a stately home at Pickens and Pendleton Streets, the Lutheran Student Center, was purchased to house the ministry near the historic USC Horseshoe. Pastor Ficken served until 1968 and two seminarians from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Hollis Miller and Larry Yoder, served as interim ministers until Pastor Robert Dasher was called in 1969. Pastor Bob Dasher would serve USC for 16 years, through the turbulent Vietnam War years and envisioning campus ministry in creative ways. Many students came to feel that the Lutheran Student Center was their “home away from home”, especially those who attended USC as day students.

During the student demonstrations in the early 1970’s the Center served as a first-aid station. A weekly tradition called “Fireside” brought the community together for fellowship and worship. In 1974, the last “Fireside” was held at the LSC in December as the building was purchased by the University and torn down so the Pendleton Street Parking Garage could be built. Pastor Dasher’s creativity and open spirit served him well as the Lutheran ministry was joined by the Episcopalians and Methodists as ELM, representing the denominational names of the new joint ministry, housed in the building at 728 Pickens Street, owned by the United Methodist Church.

In 1984 Pastor Dasher resigned to join the SC Synod staff, and again the ministry looked to LTSS for staff as Shawn Norris served as an interim campus minister. In 1985 the ELM partnership was dissolved, with the Episcopalians moving their Canterbury ministry to Trinity Cathedral.

With the arrival of Pastor John Hougen in 1986, and with a new spirit, Partnership Amongst Lutherans and Methodists (PALM) was formed at 728 Pickens Street. PALM, with Lutheran and Methodist staff, began a fruitful journey of mission and ministry with international mission trips, a traveling show promoting racial harmony, and joint worship. In 1992 Pastor Hougen left PALM and in 1993 Pastor Linda Mitchell began her ministry at USC and Columbia.

1996- 2004
The following years saw a succession of staff from the Lutheran Church serving the PALM ministry:
1996 Seminarian Christy Lohr (LTSS) (interim)
1997 Seminarians Cathy and Scott Mims (interims)
1998 Pastor Mark Blice-Baum is called as Lutheran Campus Pastor
1999 Pastor Bob Byrne (interim)
2000 Pastor Martin Jessiman is called as Lutheran Campus Pastor
2002 Pastor Bob Thompson (interim)
2004 Pastor Will Rose (interim)

2004- 2018
After much discussion, prayer and many meetings, the decision was made in 2004 to dissolve PALM and have the Lutherans, after 30 years of ecumenical partnership, move into the future independent of other ministries. Having called Pastor Frank W. Anderson in 2004, he arrived and began his ministry in Columbia as the academic year 2005-06 began.

2018- now
In October of 2018, Pastor Frank resigned to go back into the parish full-time. Interim Campus Pastor Michele Fischer stepped into replace Pastor Frank. Before Pastor Frank left, he began negotiations with the Presbyterians and Lutheran Campus Ministry, now branded LuMin by the ELCA, left the Methodist Campus Center on Pickens and moved to the UKirk facility at 1702 Greene Street. On October 1 st , 2018, the Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin) had a new campus pastor, a new home and a bright future.

We worship every Sunday at 6 pm and share a meal provided by a local congregation following our worship. The service is under an hour long and dinner is often done by 7:30 pm.

Our weekly fellowship time is Thursdays at 7 pm. Every week we will have a different activity. Check out our calendar to see what we are doing this week!

Several times during the year, Lutheran students from several university in the southeastern United States gather for a weekend retreat. Each retreat has a service and learning component. In October 2018, students gathered in Charlotte, NC and worked with Habitat for humanity.

The next retreat is scheduled for February 15 th -17 th and will be hosted by the students from UNC-Chapel Hill!

Pastor Michele Fischer
Phone: 803-567-1972 (Personal cell)/803-525-4100 (Office) 
Address: 1702 Greene Street, Columbia SC 29201
Office Hours: Tuesdays 11 am to 2 pm and Thursdays 2 pm to 4 pm. and Mondays and Fridays by appointment.

Russell House Starbucks 4:15-5:15 Thursdays. 


February 21st: Muggles Against Humanity. 7pm

February 24th: Worship at  6 pm

February 28th: Sign up today to go see Lost and Found performing: Luther, the Rock Opera.

March 3rd: Worship at 6pm

March 6th: Ash Wednesday. Contact Pastor Michele about services.


Lutheran Campus Ministry needs you.  We have volunteers who serve on the Committee for Lutheran Campus Ministry in Columbia Board, which oversees this ministry. Would you be interested in serving on the board? 

I hate to say it, but we rely on your generosity to support this ministry. Love offerings, regular contribution and special gifts are always needed.  

These are two ways to help but there are others which help support his ministry. Please see how you can help us as an individual or as a Congregation.

Event Planner: Do you have the gifts of planning parties or events? Each year, we have a dinner to celebrate those who serve in Campus Ministry. Named in honor of Bob Dasher, this fundraiser is an annual event. Time frame: September 1-December 15 (approximately).

Data-Entry:  Are you familiar with Access? We have dozens of index cards that need to be entered into a database and collected for future use.  Can be done at your leisure , in your own home. 

Cook: Do you like to cook for a large crowd? Would you be willing to provide a meal for 8-12 students on a Sunday night? Nothing fancy is needed and you can cook in your kitchen and deliver the meal, or cook in ours. 

Shopping: Use Amazon Smiles when you shop on Amazon and we get a small percentage of your purchase.  



Names:  Many years ago the university provided us with the names of incoming students who identified as Lutheran, but they no longer do so.  Can you make sure we have the names and contact information of the students in your congregation who are attending USC or Midlands or another area college? We’d love to invite them to join us.

Meals: On Sunday nights, we gather for dinner after worship. Congregations often provide these meals for us, dropping them off between 5 and 5:30 pm.  Our attendance at these meals is no more than a dozen and it is a great way for students to know they are important to our local congregations. We still need meals for the following Sundays: 3/31, 4/7, 4/21, 

Invite us: Invite us to worship and to meet with your youth groups or adult forums.

We are located in the UKirk Center

1702 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Contact Pastor Michele

Lutheran Campus Ministry

Lutheran Campus Ministry
1702 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Council for Lutheran Campus Ministry in the Columbia, South Carolina Area