Plenary Speakers

From Above - Scranton

Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II
Child of God. Husband of Claire. Father of Higher Things alumni Rachel, Daniel, and Gabriel. San Francisco Giants and 49ers fan. Pretty much in that order. Oh, and pastor in Michigan and Texas and professor of homiletics (that’s preaching) at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne and author and editor of the synod’s preaching journal and member of the HT board and the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations and guest on Issues, Etc. and former staffer for a U.S. Senator in Washington and speaker at pastors’ conferences and (far!) more interesting events like “From Above” in Scranton, PA. That’s Dr. Carl C. Fickenscher II.

From Above - Purdue

Rev. George F. Borghardt III
The Reverend George F. Borghardt III graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Classics and then received a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO in 2000. Pastor Borghardt is Senior Pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in McHenry, IL and the President of Higher Things. As a displaced southerner now living in the midwest, Pastor Borghardt loves winter – so much that his members have asked that he NOT pray for snow again this year. Pastor Borghardt is a fan of Louisiana State University, the New Orleans Saints, and the New York Mets. He and his wife have three children.

Rev. Mark Buetow
Pastor Mark Buetow serves Bethel Lutheran Church in Du Quoin, Illinois. He also serves as the Media Executive for Higher Things. Pastor Buetow is a Boilermaker, an alumnus of Purdue University. He arrived to start a career in aviation and left headed to seminary. He graduated the seminary and received his first call to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in New Orleans in 2000 after having been classmates with Pastor Borghardt. He was married to Susan in 1993 and they have three children, Naomi, Anna, and Emily (all of whom are here at this Conference somewhere). In his spare time, Pastor Buetow enjoys board, strategy, and roleplaying games as well as loading his iPad with apps he doesn't need.

From Above - Tacoma

Rev. Peter Cage
Rev. Peter C. Cage is pastor of historic St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Fort Wayne, IN. Originally hailing from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, he has served parishes in rural Nebraska, as campus pastor at Ball State, IN (charter member of Higher Things--Christ on Campus!) and as a chaplain in the Army National Guard. He enjoys hiding away in a coffee shop with a good book (and some kind of chocolate-infused coffee in hand) which often turns into a short nap so it takes him a good while to actually finish books. Five children keep him and wife Patty busy with the "to and fro" of various activities and obligatory visits to snack bars which make us eat badly. He needs a little more exercise.

Breakaway Sessions

From Above - Scranton, PA

From Above - West Lafayette, IN

From Above - Tacoma, WA