Byron J. “Barney” Schroeder will be honored on March 30 to celebrate his 41 years in the ministry.
The celebration will include an open house from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church and Student Center, 511 Russell Road, DeKalb. The morning worship services at 8 and 10:30 a.m. also will include a special message by the Rev. David Susan who served with Schroeder in Madison, Wis.
Schroeder was installed as a part of the ministry staff at Immanuel on Dec. 8, 2002. He has served in many areas and currently is the director of Christian Outreach. His involvement in the church stretches to all areas of ministry within Immanuel, as well as outreach to the community. His community involvement has included Network of Nations, Habitat for Humanity and Neighbor’s House, where he currently has a board position.
Schroeder’s tireless commitment to the church, to the community and to the planet shows in all he does. He has led small projects such as placing waste containers around the church property to large projects such as developing a community garden, providing service hours for clients in cooperation with the DeKalb County Court System and various tutoring and reading programs along with community vacation Bible school for area youth.
In addition to the garden, he has planted fruit trees on the church property and maintained a path for students to travel from private dorms to the university property. He has led English conversation classes, as well as welcomed people from all over the world into his home. He has participated with the Little Lambs Preschool, junior and senior high youth, adult Bible studies and Sunday morning worship services. Most recently, he completed 24 weeks of training and was installed as a Stephen Minister.
Schroeder grew up on a farm near Jacksonville, Ill. He graduated from Concordia University Chicago with a degree in elementary education. He student taught in Elgin and interned for a year in Black Jack, Mo., before returning to school to complete the qualifications to become a certified Director of Christian Education.
Before coming to DeKalb in 2002 he served as director of Christian Education in Appleton, Wis. He also served in Milwaukee, Madison and Wauwatosa, Wis. He took courses for a master’s degree at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Concordia University, St. Paul.
Schroeder met his wife Carol while studying at Concordia. They have been married for 40 years and have two sons, Mark (Maria) and Joel (Lynne), of California, and one daughter, Elly Boerke (Sage), of Washington. They also have one granddaughter, Caroline, also of California. Carol received a teaching degree from Concordia and has taught at both elementary and preschool levels. She is employed at Northern Illinois University as a child development associate at Campus Childcare.
Schroeder’s hobbies and interests include reading, mission trips and being a host parent to international students. While in Appleton, Wis., he had the opportunity to begin mission trips to Tijuana. Each year he saw the program grow to a point where there were two trips each summer and attendees include members of many area churches. He continued these trips for several years after coming to DeKalb. Serving as host parents to students from other countries has been enjoyable for both Barney and Carol.