ELCA Youth Gatherings occur every three years. The first Gathering took place in San Antonio, Texas, in 1988. However, the preceding church bodies that joined in 1987 to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America had Youth Gatherings that began in 1895. Youth Gatherings have been growing in numbers throughout the years, especially the last 30 years. Gatherings prior to 1988 occurred in Denver, Colorado; Banff/Alberta, Canada; Lafayette, Indiana; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; New York City, New York; Seattle, Washington; Missoula, Montana and Miami, Florida.
A resident of New Orleans said,
"The whole city is buzzing about the blessings that all the Lutheran Youth have brought to the City of New Orleans! Please pass the word to all the church member that they truly provided a beautiful witness of faith well lived! I know that their labor brought great joy to our Lord and the fruit of their labor will be enjoyed by His people of New Orleans for years to come!"