Watertown “Recreation & Outreach Center” for Youth


1.   1999 - Ministers and members of four Lutheran churches, St. John, St. Luke, St. Mark, and Trinity, began informally discussing the concept of a youth center

2.   2000, September - Synodical Outreach Grant Application Submitted

3.   2000, November – Synodical Outreach Grant given for $45,000

4.   2001, January - Watertown Youth Center Task Force formed

5.   2001, Winter - All four WELS Watertown congregations vote to establish a Youth Center Task Force and appoint, from each participating congregation, one called minister and one lay member to the task force.

6.   2001, June - A survey was conducted of WELS teens to identify needs of Watertown teens and assist in the development of a youth ministry outreach center.  Richard M. Bates, Youth Services Consultant for the group reports that the survey was designed to give teens a chance to have a voice in planning a youth ministry outreach center. Mr. Bates states, "It is critical to the success of the center that teens participate in all levels of planning and development." Survey respondents, 91%, indicate overwhelmingly that Watertown lacks a resource such as this and strongly support the creation of a youth ministry outreach center. The responding teens supported the idea for a central location offering opportunities for Christian counseling, fellowship, outreach, and recreation. According to the survey 78% agree that they can benefit personally and spritually from such a center.

7.   2001, October - Local Living Water chapter of WKW formed in Watertown area---May, 2002 that chapter adopts three projects for funding/additional assistance. (Spanish Outreach at St Mark's, St Matthew's/Pabst Farms mission effort and The ROC project), All ROC grant money and donations were forwarded thru WKW for matching (from the Schwan Fund, WKW)  

8.   2001, Fall - The task force enlists the services of a youth center consultant to study the needs of the community’s youth. 

9.   2002 – Report concerning the ROC given to congregations 

10.  2002, October – The Watertown WELS Youth Center Task Force asks Living Water WKW to have a representative attend their meetings

11.  2002 – Secures additional grants money receiving $25,000 from the Siebert Foundation

12.  2003, April - The Watertown WELS Youth Center Task Force was disbanded.  The ROC Board of Directors was organized with 2 members from each of the 4 WELS churches in Watertown that voted to accept the three year budget for The ROC operation.  A divine call to be the ROC director/pastor was issued to Pastor Tim Mueller. 

13.  2003 – ROC Constitution & Bylaws approved by congregations.  A West Main building is pursued for the ROC location

14.  2003, May - As work progressed to rent the location at 208 West Main, Living Water chapter members coordinated approximately 20 hours of labor to clean and prepare the site for remedial construction.   After approval by Site Plan Committee, at the Planning Commission Public Hearing (which was approved for 208 West Main) Larry Mistele publicly offered a building he (Empire Globe) owned on South Water Street for The ROC at no charge.  When negotiations with the owner at 208 West Main broke down, The ROC Board negotiated and signed a contract with Empire Globe to use the building at 319 S. Water Street.  (The timing was concurrent with the culmination of an effort by city volunteers to clean the outside walls and paint murals)

15.  2003, June – Pastor Timothy Mueller, serving at that time as pastor of Immanuel in Medford, WI. accepts the Call to be the director and pastor of the ROC

16.  2003, August – Several help Director/Pastor Mueller and his family move in to 1411 Wedgewood Drive in Watertown.  City Site Planning Review Committee accepts the ROC site plan for 319 S. Water Street (formerly A-Z Mill office building)

17.  2003, September 8 – Despite some opposition by neighbors, a conditional use permit is given by the city planning commission.

18.  2003, Sept. 20th – volunteers worked a few hours at the ROC building

19.  2003, September 28th, 2:00 p.m. – Pastor/Director Mueller’s installation in the Luther Prep. chapel - 250 attended

20.  2003, May - Pastor Mueller is called to serve as the full-time director/pastor of the ROC

21.  2003, May - Another building at 321 S. Water St. and a better financial arrangement is pursued.  Pastor Mueller accepts the call.

22.  2003, August – Many help Director/Pastor Mueller and his family move in to 1411 Wedgewood Drive in Watertown

23.  2003, August – City Site Planning Review Committee accepts the ROC site plan for 321 S. Water Street (formerly A-Z Mill office building)

24.  2003, September - City Planning Commission unanimously votes to give the ROC use of the 321 S. Water St. building

25.  Paint & Pizza Fest For Youth

26.  Dec. 3, 2003 - The ROC Opened

27.  Jan. 24, 2004 - Grand Opening

28.   October 3rd, 2009 - THE ROC moved from 321 S. Water Street to the basement of St. Mark’s Parish Hall on

29.  December 29th, 2009 - The Closing of the purchase of THE ROC building (213 N. 3rd Street).

30.    February 22nd, 2010  - The public hearing was held when the city counsel unanimously approved the Conditional Use Permit

31.    March 8th, 2010 - The City Site Plan Review Committee was held on March 8th where the ROC Plan was unanimously approved.  Work on the building began soon after.

32.    June 12th, 2010 - The move from the basement of St. Mark’s Parish Hall

33.    June 17, 2010 - The first day open for the teens

34.   June 26th, 2010 -THE OPEN HOUSE was held

35.  December 8th, 12-3 p.m. - ROC 10TH ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE