The Perry County Lutheran Historical Society has been in existence since 1910, when it took on its mission of preserving the Log Cabin College. We still include that task as part of our mission, but the activities of the historical society go well beyond that these days. In 2005, thanks to a generous donation from Vernon Meyr, the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum was built. With that new building came the need for a museum director. Our first director, Carla Jordan accepted that role and served in that position for 17 years. Carla transformed our museum and our staff and volunteers into a very professional organization, and our museum became what has been credited with Smithsonian-style exhibits.
Health concerns caused Carla to step down from being our director in 2021, and our board of directors struggled for quite some time attempting to find someone to take over that role. A time came when Carla Grebing entered the picture and agreed to direct our museum on an interim basis while we searched for a permanent director. I must admit that because Carla was doing such a wonderful job in that role that we as a board did not spend an awful lot of time and effort searching for a replacement. Carla Grebing has taken us from where we were and guided us through the exciting time of a building expansion and then transforming that new space into one that provides revolving exhibits bringing in more visitors to our site. Our board acknowledges that the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society has had great leadership from our directors during this entire time, with the exception of the time period between the two Carlas.
Recently, Carla Grebing informed our board that she was going to be having back surgery that was going to require a lengthy recovery. She made the decision to step down from her role as director, both for her personal health and because she wanted our organization to have a new director in place so that the energetic leadership that we have experienced in the past is continued. Carla assures us that she will continue her service to our organization as a volunteer, and we look forward to having her unique skills to benefit us. We are so thankful for the outstanding service that has been provided by our previous directors. We have certainly been blessed by God.
This time around, we were able to identify several people to be under consideration for this director position. After a series of interviews, we have now made our choice of a new director. This enables us to have an amazingly smooth transfer from one director to another. Yesterday, Carla Grebing officially announced her resignation, and today we have the privilege of introducing you to our new director.
We are excited to announce that Kristen Lewis will be the next person to serve as the director of the Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum. Kristen has some amazing credentials, and we are looking forward to having her lead us into the future. I will share a short biography that Kristen gave us to let you know a little bit about her.
Kristen spent seven years of her childhood in Germany, as a military dependent, and has lived in ten different states. Kristen graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and commissioned into the Army as a Second Lieutenant in 2001. She met her husband at West Point and they were married in 2002. After serving five years as a logistics officer in the Army, Kristen moved into the role as a full-time mom. She enjoyed homeschooling their two boys, Alex and Gabriel, until middle school at which time they attended Trinity Lutheran School in Saint Francis, Minnesota. Kristen moved to Jackson six years ago with her family. Billy is currently a teacher at Jackson High School, Alex is a freshman at SEMO University, and Gabriel is a senior at Jackson High School. Kristen attends Immanuel Lutheran Church in Altenburg with her family and is currently working on her Master of Arts in History through Liberty University.
Kristen will begin her service at the museum very shortly. Once she does, we hope you take the opportunity to come and meet her. We have every reason to believe that you are going to love her.