Our Staff

Youth can gather safely and enjoy the positive influence of adult Christian mentors

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PASTOR JAMES BUSKE
Executive Director

Pastor James G. Buske is a 1993 Graduate of Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills, Wisconsin. After attending one year at University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, he transferred to Martin Lutheran College in New Ulm, Minnesota and graduated in the spring of 1998. After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2002, Pastor Buske was first assigned to serve as tutor at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin, where he served as pastor, teacher, coach, and dorm supervisor for the 42 boys that lived on his floor. After two years Jim was then reassigned to serve as associate Pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church in Bremerton, Washington. Pastor Buske accepted the call to serve as Pastor and Director of the Lighthouse Youth Center and has began this exciting ministry to the youth on the north side of Milwaukee in 2006. Pastor Buske has experience organizing and recruiting volunteers, and through the dedication and Christ-like love he has shown for his members he has proven to be a strong mentor and guide for the Lighthouse youth. Pastor Buske and his wife, Terry, have four children.

Email Pastor Buske

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MARK GUNDERSON
Director of Operations

Mark Gunderson serves as the Director of Operations, overseeing staff and programming. Previous to this position Mark had served as the site director of our Havenwoods campus for ten years. Prior to graduation, Mark served his intern year at St. Marcus Lutheran Church in central city Milwaukee where he was privileged to work with youth in an urban setting. He credits that experience for instilling in him a passion for urban ministry. Mark’s other ministry experience includes teaching religion on the high school and college level and in a youth ministry position at a church in Idaho. He and his wife Janet have four children.

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CHUQEE FLETCHER
Site Director – Garden Homes Campus

Chuqee Fletcher was born and raised in Milwaukee and attended Garden Homes Lutheran School. The building where he is now working, our Lighthouse Garden Homes campus, was the building where he attended school from K3 through 8th grade. He graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in 2008 and went on to graduate from Martin Luther College in 2012. He also earned his MaED in Leadership & Innovation from Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2017. Chuqee and his wife, Erika, have 3 children – Cali, Carter, and Cairo.

PASTOR ANDY GLENDE
Site Director – Havenwoods Campus

Pastor Andy Glende was raised in Columbus, Ohio. He graduated from Michigan Lutheran Seminary of Saginaw, Michigan, and Martin Luther College of New Ulm, Minnesota. He served as a religion teacher and dorm supervisor at Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wisconsin for two years. Andy has also served as pastor in Terre Haute, Indiana, and Franklin, Wisconsin. Prior to coming to Lighthouse, from 2012 to 2018, Andy worked as a wine buyer/manager for Otto’s Wine & Spirits in Brown Deer, WI. Andy and his wife, Lauren, have two children. As he works with youth at Lighthouse to build relationships with each other and with their Savior Jesus, Pastor Andy’s personal ministry motto is to be “Grace-filled Glende”—inspired by a Lighthouse youth member on his first day on the job!

MIKALA SCHMITZ
Site Director – Polonia Campus

Mikala serves as the Site Director at our Polonia Campus, our newest facility. Mikala was born and grew up in Fort Atkinson, WI.  She graduated with a double degree in education with a focus on Spanish and Math from Martin Luther College in 2018.  During the 2018-2019 school year she served as the math and science teacher for grades 6-8 in the Dominican Republic. During this experience Mikala came to the realization that she did not want to be a teacher but still wanted to share the love of Christ with kids which she gets to do everyday at Lighthouse Youth Center. Her Spanish language background will be asset to the community she will serve.

ANN SEBALD
Mission Advancement Director

Ann joined the LYC team this August as the Mission Advancement Director. For the past 5+ years she served as the Director of Development at Time of Grace. Her experience in fundraising, marketing & event planning will be a great asset to the ministry.  She is married to Aaron and is a mom of three: Luke, 28 – newly married to Sara; Rachel, 26 – working in Chicago as an advertising associate; and Connie, 16 – a junior at Sussex Hamilton High School.  Ann is pursing her masters in Leadership & Innovation at WLC and plans on finishing in 2020. In November she will receive her CFRE: Certified Fund Raising Executive status.

CHESTER REINEMANN
Vicar – Garden Homes Campus

Chester spent his childhood in St. Paul, MN and in Austin, TX. After a year at UW – Eau Claire, he was convinced that pastoral ministry was the avenue in which he wanted to serve Jesus in this life. That path took him to study for a semester in Berlin, Germany and graduate from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. While studying at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary he began working at Lighthouse Youth Center. LYC soon became one of his greatest joys. Not only was it a place to share the love of Jesus with awesome kids, but it was also the place he met the woman who would end up being his bride. Chester married Anna Reinemann (née Sherod) on February 17, 2019 in Sharpsburg, Georgia (Sharpsburg is where he was serving as a vicar, or resident student, at Faith Lutheran Church). Now, Chester’s in his final year of education and, God-willing, will be ordained into public ministry in 2020.

ROSS GOTTSCHALK
Vicar – Garden Homes Campus

Ross Gottschalk is a first-year student at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary and a 2019 graduate of Martin Luther College. This is his first year working at Lighthouse, specifically at the Garden Homes campus. Not only is he blessed to be able to share Christ’s love with the youth at Lighthouse, but also able to serve alongside his wife of two years, Laura (née Weiland) Gottschalk. Ross and Laura have also ministered together at Camp Phillip, a Lutheran campground in Wautoma, WI, where they met when they were kids. Ross and Laura look forward to continuing their ministry together at Lighthouse and wherever else God leads them in the years to come.

CONIFER BERG
Vicar – Havenwoods Campus

Conifer was born in Appleton, WI. He is the oldest of four, and loves his family more than anything. Conifer has been married to Ruth (née Nitz) for three years. Ruth is in her second year of teaching 5th grade at Risen Savior Lutheran School in Milwaukee. Conifer and Ruth both graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. Conifer enjoys going to school at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He is in his 2nd year and is hoping to be a pastor by 2022! He also loves to play soccer, watch soccer, read about soccer, talk about soccer, dream about soccer, and play piano. His favorite things about LYC are getting to talk heart to heart with the kids, and teaching God’s word through devotions. Conifer is looking forward to an awesome year at Lighthouse. He thanks you for your love and support of this super important ministry.

TOM NICHOLSON
Vicar – Polonia Campus

Tom was born and raised in Portage, WI. He received a BA in the Classical Biblical Languages from Martin Luther College in 2016. He is currently in his senior year pursuing a MDiv from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He served his Vicar Internship at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Edna, TX last year and is excited to apply all he has learned to his work at Lighthouse.

LAURA GOTTSCHALK
Girls’ Leadership Coordinator

Laura was born and raised in Merrill, WI where her father, Rev. James Weiland, served as pastor. Like her parents, she has a passion for sharing the gospel. She attended Northland Lutheran High School, then Wisconsin Lutheran College for 2 years, and graduated from Martin Luther College with a degree in Staff Ministry in 2019. Laura is particularly interested in sharing Jesus to young people. She and her husband, Ross, serve as the Junior Staff Directors at Camp Phillip, in Wautoma, WI during the summer months. It is at this camp that they met in 5th and 6th grade. They have been married over two wonderful years and look forward to the ministries they have been blessed with here at Lighthouse.