The Marriage of Two Legacy Families


Dec. 19, 2013
Written by John Foss ‘88

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
Psalm 100:5

The Foss and Schmidt families have been a part of the ministry of the Lutheran Bible Institute from 1960 through the present. These families were brought together through John Foss and Sarah Schmidt’s marriage in 1990. Their common bond has been their family’s participation in the ministry of LBI. The verse above speaks aptly of God’s faithfulness to them.

Here is how LBI has been used by God to bless their families over the years:

Cliff and Elsie Studebaker (parents of Connie Foss) began the relationship with LBI on the Greenwood Campus in Seattle where Cliff worked in maintenance and Elsie served as a cook from 1960-1975.

Foss familyLes and Connie (Studebaker) Foss ‘62 met at LBI, have many great memories, and now live in Longview, WA. They recently attended Fall Fest 2013 at Trinity, and enjoyed their reconnection to the college. They are pictured left with the Foss family.

“Hearing the ensemble brought back memories of being in the choir and memories of friends that have lasted for over 50 years! We are so appreciative of our years at LBI, where we were drawn closer to the Lord through the study of God’s Word,” Connie said.

Les served as a Lutheran pastor in North Dakota and Washington for 38 years. Les and Connie’s children, Cheryl, John and Amy all attended LBI.

Four Schmidt family siblings attended LBI with Marty leading the way.

Schmidt familyMartin Schmidt ‘72 came to LBI largely due to the influence of family friends and pastors. Luthor Nelson, a youth pastor at Trinity Lutheran in San Pedro, CA, influenced many to attend LBI such as Sue Schmidt, Wendy Anderson, Ruth Schmidt, Gretchen Doering, Mike Cooper, Lynn Nelson, Margo Nelson, Darrell and Diane Howe.

Marty liked the adventure of moving from San Pedro to Seattle to attend college, and learned from great Bible teachers like Robert Rismiller and Erman Lunder, who were deeply devoted to the Lord. Another wonderful gift was making a life-long friend, Brad Agenbrad. Their families still get together, with Marty and Brad enjoying many a fishing trip together. Marty and his family live in Seabeck, WA.

Susan (Schmidt) Lubinski ’75, from San Pedro, CA, was also spurred on to LBI through Luthor Nelson. Odell Kittleson, former missionary to Bolivia, was an influential teacher as a “missionary-in-residence.” Their families have remained connected to this day with Sue’s daughter, Annalisa, recently going on a mission trip to Bolivia, where the Kittlesons still serve. 

“In depth study of God’s Word became such an important part of my life because of my studies at LBI. It was incredibly valuable at that time and has been a blessing to me throughout my life,” Sue said.

Ruth (Schmidt) Rydberg’s ‘78 time at LBI was a stepping stone into a mission trip and a lifetime of adventurous travel. She also came to know the Kittleson family, as her sister Sue did. She spent a few months with them in Caranavi, Bolivia, with life-long friend and LBI alumna, Becky Kittelson Pines. Ruth’s son, Luke, also went on a mission trip to Bolivia and worked alongside the Kittleson family in Caranavi. She and her family live in Camarillo, CA.

John and Sarah Foss with their familyJohn Foss completed his BA in Biblical Studies in 1988 and Sarah Schmidt Foss completed a BS in Youth Work in 1989. After traveling on Servant Song for one year and working for two years in the Admissions office at LBI, John went on to seminary and has been serving the Lutheran church as a pastor for 17 years, currently in Aliso Viejo, CA. John also served on the board of directors of LBI/Trinity from 2002-2008.

John and Sarah found that LBI provided a Biblical, Christ-centered environment where their faith in Jesus Christ was renewed and life-long friendships were formed. A highlight for both was Pastor Tom Christensen’s Life Group where they met!

John and Sarah are pictured above with their children, Andrew, Joshua, Megan and Caleb.

Don and Cheryl (Foss) Carlson both attended LBI for the winter and spring terms in 1987. Having already graduated from Concordia/Moorhead, they came seeking spiritual enrichment and renewal. Don and Cheryl live in Pendleton, OR, where Don serves the community as a podiatrist and Cheryl is a teacher.

Amy Foss ’90 attended LBI for two years, studying God’s Word, growing in her faith and enjoying many friendships. She makes her home in Longview, WA. 

The Foss and Schmidt families share a rich heritage and enduring relationships flowing out of the study of God’s Word at LBI. And it all began with the faithful service of Connie Foss’ parents on the Greenwood Campus and the influence of the Schmidt family’s youth pastor.

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