Our Historical Timeline
1980 Year of incorporation for Greater Wausau Christian Services Ten area congregations extend wish institutional chaplaincy known as GWCS: First English, St. Mark Luthern, Good Shepard, Immanuel, St. Stephen, Mt. Calvary, Pilgrim, Trinity-Wausau, Trinity-Stettin & Zion
1981 The Rev. Edwin R Schwanke is installed as Chaplain/Director and Jail and Health Care Ministries begin
1982 Bethlehem joins GWCS, Christian education classes for the developmentally disabled begin at
Marathon County Health Care Center and First Stephen Care Team commissioned
1983 Eastside ministry proposed (The Neighbor’s Place)
1984 First Chaplain in Residence at St. Mark Lutheran
1985 Ministry at Alzheimer’s Unit Health Care Center begins
1987 Intensive plan to enroll new congregations begins and the Neighbor’s Place begins operating
1988 St. Paul’s United Church of Christ becomes a GWCS member congregation and initial Jail Rehabilitation Program begins
1989 Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist joins GWCS
1990 Jail Volunteers commissioned
1991 Trinity Junior High youth begin to work with the Developmentally Disabled class at the Health Care Center
1992 Marathon County designates new funding for the Criminal Justice Volunteer Coordinator
1993 GWCS works with County officials to develop the position of Justice Systems coordinator and GWCS applauded at State Chaplains conference for: Stephen Care Team, Congregational caring ministry to institutions, and Secure funding from congregations
1994 Christian Education classes for the Developmentally Disabled at Mount Olive Lutheran Church begins. The Rev. Edwin R. Schwanke, Chaplain/Director retires on December 30th
1995 The Rev. Dale Svendsen is installed as Chaplain/Director on November 5th
1996 Bible distribution emphasized at the Marathon County Jail
1997 Videotapes used for promotion of ministry
1998 The Rev. Dale Svendsen resigns after accepting another call on January 11th. The Rev. Wendell Peterson is installed as Chaplain/Director on October 11th. Marlene Schalow joins GWCS as secretary on October 26th
1999 Christ Lutheran becomes a GWCS member congregation,“Kids Kount” Program (distribution of gifts to children of inmates at the Marathon County Jail) first takes place
2000 Elderly Care Services Survey taken, Delores Kessel begins as therapist to female inmates at Marathon County Jail in April
2001 Joni Juergens begins as Bible study leader to female inmates in Marathon County Jail in April. An Ad Hoc Committee of the Board of Directors meets with Pastors and members of congregations to help set the future direction of GWCS
2003 Delores Kessel begins a new program called “Breaking Barriers” at the Marathon County Jail in January.
Joni Juergens begins a new position with GWCS as Volunteer Coordinator in April. Dixie Lee Weber begins a new program at Marathon County juvenile center in April
2004 Dixie Lee Weber resigns from program at Marathon County juvenile center in May
2005 Sally Scinto Reinertson begins as Bible study leader to female inmates at Marathon County Jail. Joni Juergens and the Rev. Wendell Peterson resigns as Chaplain/Director. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church joins Greater Wausau Christian Services. St. John’s Episcopal Church leaves Greater Wausau Christian Services in October.
2006 Daniel Kohn begins as Dir. in January, after being the interim coordinator for Jail ministries. Delores Kessel resigns from Breaking Barriers Program in March. Charles Sanders begins the Breaking Barriers Program in November. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church leaves greater Wausau Christian Services in February.
2009 B.J. Guderian takes over the Breaking Barriers Program from March to November. Charles Sanders resigns from Breaking Barriers Program in January.
2010 Ray Slatton becomes Director of Greater Wausau Christian Services in January. Daniel Kohn resigns to take a post as Pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona WI. Kristina Schultz takes over the Breaking Barriers Program in March
2011 New Hope Community Church joins Greater Wausau Christian Services. Kristina Schultz resigns the Breaking Barriers Program in October
2012 Breaking Barriers – Huber Sessions held at our offices for inmates. We now hold 6 classes per week – 5 inside Marathon County Jail & 1 outside of the Jail
2013 Tanya Grupe started a Women's Inmate Group.
2014 Moved from our former location. Kathy LaPorte started leading the Huber Breaking Barriers.
2015 Mt. Olive Lutheran Church joins GWCS
2017 The Joseph Project started with the first session held on July 25th
2018 St. Stephen Lutheran Church re-joins GWCS
2019 Pastor Yauo Yang, pastor of The Cross church took over The Joseph Project
2020 Covid-19 Pandemic hit in March. All nursing home and jail services were suspended for months. Limited services began in September.
Patricia (Pat) Rogala, a volunteer with GWCS for 25+ years retired. Sally Scinto-Reinertson, a volunteer with GWCS for 16+ years retired. Kathy LaPorte, a volunteer with GWCS for 10+ years retired. All three of these women were presented with a plaque in recognition of their dedication and commitment to GWCS.
2021 A plaque was presented to Nancy Kohorn-Henricks for her dedicated service doing the Huber Breaking Barriers classes. The Jail started allowing limited programming in March.
2022 After 23 plus years, Marlene Schalow retired March 30th as Administrative Assistant. Sharon Michalski takes over as the new Administrative Assistant.