Loading Events Junior High Youth Gathering - Michigan District, LCMS

Junior High Youth Gathering


May 31, 2019 - June 2, 2019
Frankenmuth, MI

Jesus says, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). We live in a world where each individual philosophy is dropping “truth bombs:” from hair to food; from clothing to identity. It is not that young people have no truths—it is that they are faced with thousands of them. All these “truths” compete for their minds, their bodies, and even their souls. To further complicate life, Christianity is often reduced to a list of do’s and don’ts. The Truth that gives freedom—Christ’s work on the Cross and His resurrection for us—is our starting point. This May, Jr. High students and the adults that care for them will come together in Frankenmuth to receive from Jesus and abide in his Word. Jesus for you! He is the #TRUTH that gives freedom.

When & Where


May 31, 2019 - June 2, 2019

Bavarian Inn Lodge
1 Covered Bridge Lane
Frankenmuth, MI, 48734
Download Schedule



Rev. Gabe Kasper

Pastor Kasper serves at University Lutheran Chapel in Ann Arbor. Prior to his current role, he spent 5 years as a church planter in Austin, Texas. His passion for preaching and teaching has led him to speak at camps, churches, youth events, universities, and conferences. He is a graduate of Concordia University Wisconsin and holds an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. His writing has appeared in Lutheran Mission Matters and Sword and Swan Media House. In his spare time, Pastor Kasper enjoys soccer, CrossFit, reading books, listening to punk rock, and co-hosting the Pint Glass Preachers Podcast. He and his wife Melissa have 3 great kids.


Rev. Bill Yonker

Pastor Bill Yonker is Senior Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Dundee, Ill. He travels the country 20 weekends a year speaking at conferences, schools, and campuses. He was named as one the 150 most influential alumni of Valparaiso University. He loves coffee, stories/storytelling, reading, and the Packers. He’s married to Joanne, is father to Becca (Tyler), Abby, Josh, and is grandfather to Nathan.

Sectional Leader

Rev. Jason Bauer

Rev. Jason Bauer began his ministry to youth and adults as a DCE at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, Minn. In 2004, he and his wife Laura moved to Traverse City, Mich. where he has served for 12 years as a DCE and pastor to the youth and families of Redeemer, Interlochen. Pastor Bauer enjoys preaching and working with the adults of the congregation, but he has always had a heart for working with young people and helping to introduce them to Christ. In 2015, Pastor Bauer spent a year working as the program director at Camp Arcadia. Pastor Bauer and his wife Laura have 4 children, and the family loves to spend time outdoors hiking, swimming, biking, and camping together.

Sectional Leader

Valerie Matyas

Mrs. Valerie Matyas is a Visual Faith classroom coach with Visual Faith Ministry. She travels to churches and schools throughout Michigan encouraging people of all ages to literally draw closer to God through creative reflection. Whether Mrs. Matyas is doodling, drawing, lettering, painting or coloring, she is reflecting and responding to who God is and who she is in Him. She and her husband, Rev. Dennis Matyas (pastor at St. Paul, Bay City), have four children.

Sectional Leader

Rev. Chris Troxel

Rev. Chris Troxel is Pastor of Christian Growth at Trinity, Utica. He’s lived in 5 states, visited 5 countries, and can play 3 instruments. More than traveling, more than bacon, he loves being outside, connecting with people, creating moments where they can know and love Jesus. Pastor Troxel and his wife Lisa have 3 kids.

Sectional Leader

Kyle DeWees

Sinner. Husband. Father (x3). Son. Brother (x3). Step-brother (x2). Brother-in-law (x4). Friend. Fundraiser (Saginaw Valley Lutheran High School). Coach. Soccer player. Traveler. Cook. Landscape engineer. Hiker. Shower singer. Forgiven. Redeemed. Saved. *Kyle welcomes anyone to ask about the above titles*


Swen & Dean

Swen and Dean are brothers originally from Northfield, Minn. They love to sing, hang out, and have fun. During the past 14 years they have traveled the country performing for thousands of people, sharing their unique gifts at events that range from large-scale youth events to family night concerts. With their songs and stories, Swen and Dean blend spiritual depth with spirited fun. “We do what we do because of what God has done for us. Singing and sharing are ways of giving thanks. To God be the glory.”



Impact is a worship team made up of students from Valley Lutheran High School in Saginaw. This worship team was founded by students and has been under the direction of Paul Eschmann since it began. The focus of IMPACT is to lead others in worship by responding to God’s grace and His great love for us. Students in IMPACT lead worship on a regular basis in chapels at the high school and area grade schools. They also lead worship on Sunday mornings when asked by area churches.


Registration is closed. Deadline to register has been extended to May 3, 2019.

Pre-registration Fee: $250 per church

Program fee per person: $70 (includes t-shirt)

Cost per room at Bavarian Inn Lodge: $90 * per night *4 people to a room

All payments are due in full by May 15, 2019.