CLHS alumni recognized for accomplishments, service during 2023 graduation

May 24, 2023

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Concordia Lutheran High School is honoring its alumni for their accomplishments since graduation during the 2023 Commencement ceremony on May 28 at the Historic Embassy Theatre.

Rev. Lewis King ’92
Distinguished Alumnus Award

Rev. Lewis King, a 1992 graduate and Urban Outreach Pastor at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, is being recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award for his achievements since graduation. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest honor given to a Concordia graduate. It recognizes graduates who have demonstrated an ongoing dedication to Christian principles and the church, with both lifetime and personal achievements.

In addition to his work in the ministry, Rev. King is the Director of Northeast Indiana Neighborhood Engagement (NINE). Through this organization, he works with churches and schools to conduct outreach and create disciples beyond the four walls of the church.

In the community, Rev. King leads a Mayoral initiative called Fort Wayne UNITED Ten Point Coalition. Through his leadership, this program supports local youth and their families by navigating the causes of trauma and negativity in the community. The coalition helps remove roadblocks and build strong relationships that bring hope for a brighter future.

Rev. King’s journey began when he graduated from Kenny’s Academy of Barbering in Indianapolis. He was a barber for more than 25 years where he discovered his calling to serve families. He went on to graduate from Concordia Theological Seminary. It was in King’s Barbershop where a community Bible study grew into King’s Community Outreach. This ministry is still going strong, meets weekly, and now feeds thousands in the community and surrounding areas each year. Rev. King loves to preach, teach, and raise up our future leaders.

He also serves on the Fort Wayne Mayor’s Opportunity Advisory Council, Safe Housing & Building Advisory Board, PrayerWorks Advisory Board, and several other boards in the city.

He is a Leadership Coach, Speaker, and author of The Reinvented Man, A Journey to Raising Kings. This is a powerful book that inspires men to become what God has called them to be and raise up our young men to become kings.

Rev. King is a devoted husband to wife Joy and proud father to his sons Addison and Zyon, with a true passion for community advocacy and enrichment. He dedicates this award to his parents William R. King and Theola King.

As the Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, Rev. King will be speaking at Concordia’s commencement on May 28 at the Historic Embassy Theatre.

Philip Amt ’64
Distinguished Service Award

Mr. Philip Amt, a 1964 graduate and a retired Lutheran educator, is being honored with the Distinguished Service Award because of his dedicated support, activity and service to the ministry of CLHS.

Mr. Amt is a humble servant who has served Lutheran schools as a teacher, educator, and volunteer for many years. He worked as a teacher and administrator in Texas, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New York, and Indiana, including at St. Paul’s Lutheran School and Bethlehem Lutheran School in Fort Wayne.

He found his inspiration and support to work in Lutheran education from his family. He said that his wife, Suzanne, “always understood and supported the demands of an educator in our Lutheran schools.” His father, Arthur Amt, was a Lutheran school teacher and principal who, he said, “was a person I could count on when it came to seeking advice and counsel.”

As a volunteer to the church and community, he served on school boards, committees, Sunday School and VBS, the Allen County Non-Public School Association, and Parks and Recreation Committees. He also has been an announcer for Lutheran school events, including at Concordia. In addition to being an announcer and statistician for CLHS sporting events, he also served the high school on the anniversary committee and as an association delegate.

In his years as an educator, Mr. Amt was honored as the “LAEE Teacher of the Year” and the “Indiana District Teacher of the Year” in 1999. His son, Jon, is a 2000 graduate of CLHS.

Thomas Starks ’13
Neale M. Shank Award

Mr. Thomas Starks, a 2013 graduate and Director of Property Management at First Companies in Grand Rapids, Mich., is being awarded the Neale M. Shank Award. The Neale M. Shank Award, named in honor of an alumnus who died while serving in Iraq, honors those younger than 40 who have made significant contributions to their given career, community, church or the high school.

At CLHS, Mr. Starks was a standout basketball player and was the AAA Arthur L. Trester Award winner (Mental Attitude Award) during his senior year. He went on to Spring Arbor University where he continued his basketball career as the captain for two years and an Academic All-American during his sophomore, junior and senior years. As a student, he also was a Presidential Ambassador for the university’s president and a member of the Student Alumni Council. He graduated in 2017 with a degree in Business Administration and Management with a focus in Entrepreneurship. He was recognized as the Business Administration Student of the Year for his graduating class.

Mr. Starks started his career at Ash Brokerage in Fort Wayne as an Internal Regional Protection Specialist, and for the past five years, he has been working at First Companies in Michigan. In his community, he has been able to volunteer and work as a certified MHSAA official where he is able “to give back and encourage a lot of young people so that they too can be very successful if they use sports for the right purposes,” he commented. He also volunteers with A.Y.A. Youth Collective as well as a local Christian school where he sits in the classroom to give teachers time for a break. At his work, he is also the co-chair of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Board. With his wife, he has also been able to work with a group called Winning at Home that is a counseling and coaching program to help people with their struggles at home.

Gyneth Schaefer Conrad ’77
JROTC Hall of Honor

Mrs. Gyneth Schaefer Conrad graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School in 1977. Gyneth married SFC Alan Conrad, CLHS JROTC instructor, in 1979. While in the Army, they lived in Fayetteville, N.C. (Fort Bragg) and then at Fort Gulick, Republic of Panama. While in Panama their first child, Bryan, was born. The Conrad Family returned to Fort Bragg in the spring 1986 where she soon became involved in both her church as the Church Treasurer and the 7th SFG (A) Family Support Group (FSG).

As the A Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th SFG (A) FSG Representative, she initiated and hosted the monthly hotdog sales, Gyneth raised more than $2,000 for the FSG Fund. Gyneth was the principal organizer of several activities for the 2nd Battalion including Christmas Parties, Halloween Parties for the children of deployed soldiers.

Upon Gyneth’s return to Fort Wayne, she quickly immersed herself into the activities of the CLHS Cadet Battalion. Finding a place as the surrogate mother of multiple cadets over the years. Gyneth coached the CO-ED Drill team for numerous years, sewed Uniforms for the team as well as serving as the primary female chaperone on Drill Meets, the Fall and Spring Campouts as well as multiple summer camps She towed trailers, helped to launch and recover kayaks, and cooked for more than 30 cadets each evening.

As part of the CLHS JROTC Booster Club, Gyneth planned and supervised the Kaptain Kaydet Sarsaparilla Surprise booth for more than 15 years. Increasing the menu from root beer floats to include floats, apple crisps and fried onions stacks. Between 2001 and 2012, Gyneth raised more than $75,000 for the Cadet Battalions activities.

Gyneth has impacted the lives of more than 400 cadets as a surrogate mother and friend. In 1998, Gyneth began feeding the cadets at drill meets to alleviate costs and was inspirational in setting up the JROTC Booster Club Scholarship funds, building both the Scholarship and JROTC Endowments through yearly Booster Club profits.

Gyneth currently is a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church (Soest) and resides in Hoagland, Ind., with her husband Alan. Together they have two children, Bryan (’03) (Kate) Conrad and Angela Conrad (’06) and three grandchildren, Kolten, Harrison and Oliver.

Concordia Lutheran High School, located at 1601 St. Joe River Drive in Fort Wayne, Ind., was founded in 1935 as a private, co-educational Lutheran high school open to students of all faiths and backgrounds. With Christ at the center, Concordia continues to pursue educational excellence that equips individuals for lifelong learning and service as disciples of Jesus Christ. Learn more at