Watermarked 2020 Higher Things Conferences

Colorado State University - Fort Collins, CO

Rev. George Borghardt

Pastor Borghardt 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. He is the Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bossier City, LA. He serves as the president of Higher Things and is known as Thor’s human.

Pastor Borghardt loves winter after serving seven years as the Senior Pastor at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in McHenry, IL. When it snows in Louisiana, you will know it is his fault! He is a fan of Louisiana State University and the New Orleans Saints. He is petitioning the New York Mets to let him perform an exorcism on their pitching staff. He hates clowns, feet, and the Alabama Crimson Tide. He and his wife, Amy, have three children – George, Thomas, and Sophia.

Rev. Mark Buetow

Pastor Buetow serves as the Pastor and School Director of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church and School in McHenry, Illinois. Pastor Buetow is a graduate of Purdue University and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He has served parishes in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Du Quoin, Illinois. Pastor Buetow has written and taught for Higher Things for many years. He and his wife, Susan, have been married 26 years and have three grown daughters. In his free time, Pastor Buetow enjoys tabletop (strategy, war, card) gaming.

Northwest Missouri State University - Maryville, MO

Rev. Aaron Fenker

Pastor Fenker is the Pastor of Bethlehem and Immanuel Lutheran Churches in Bremen, KS. He also works with their association school, Good Shepherd Lutheran in Marysville, KS, teaching both 3rd and 4th Grade Religion and 7th and 8th Grade Religion. Pastor Fenker is a graduate of Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, IL and Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, IN. He is also in the final stages of completing his Masters of Sacred Theology degree through Concordia Theological Seminary.

He and his wife, Sarah, have been married six years, and they have three children: Eva, Aaron, and Abigail. Sarah is expecting their fourth child, who is due in March 2020. Pastor Fenker is also the Higher Things Dean of Theology. In his spare time, he enjoys smoking/grilling various kinds of meat, and, of course, spending time with his growing family.

Rev. Harrison Goodman

Pastor Goodman graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary and now serves the saints of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in San Antonio, TX. His wife Lisa loves him so much she watches their 7-year-old son Ezekiel and 5-year-old daughter Zoey while he goes to conferences each summer. He’s very blessed to have her. Also, she’s smart and pretty. He writes stuff at lutheranpastorsays.com sometimes, has been known to contribute to Higher Things through various media, and wonders if anybody actually reads these blurbs.

University of Tennessee - Knoxville, TN

Rev. Gaven Mize

Pastor Mize is the proud pastor of Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hickory, North Carolina. He is married to the lovely Ashlee Mize. Together they have a son and future ruler of Eternia, Oliver “Skeletor” Mize.  Pastor Mize attended University at Concordia University of Wisconsin, Seminary at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN and is currently a Doctoral Candidate at the same Theological Seminary.

Pastor Mize has written “Beauty and Catechesis” and co-authored “Beauty and Augsburg Confession” with Rev. Roberto Rojas. He also authored “My Little ABC Liturgy Book”, and with his wife, wrote “God Loves Me Such That He Would Give” which is illustrated by Higher Things legend, Ed Riojas. He has written and edited other projects as well.

Pastor Mize has been to every Higher Things Conference since 2011. He was Catechist for three conferences and assistant to the regional chaplain at Higher Things, Scranton. He is the Captain of the reigning SouthEastern District Circuits 16 &17  Dodgeball Champions. He is the owner of The Lenoir Luchadors, the current Fantasy Baseball World Series Champions.

Dr. Scott Keith

Dr. Keith is the Executive Director of 1517 and adjunct professor of Theology at Concordia University, Irvine. He is a co-host of The Thinking Fellows podcast, contributor to 1517, Christ Hold Fast and The Jagged Word blogs, and author of Being Dad: Father as a Picture of God’s Grace. Dr. Keith resides in California with his wife, Joy and family, dividing his time between the mountains and the beach.

Dr. Keith, while an expert on many subjects specializes in a few particular topics. He is a foremost authority on Philip Melanchthon, his life, relationship to Martin Luther and his vast influence on the Loci Communes. Dr. Keith is also a sought after speaker on family relationships, especially fatherhood. His book Dad: Father as a Picture of God’s Grace is a beautiful depiction of our Heavenly Father in juxtaposition to our modern culture. Allowing God’s transforming grace to flow through your family relationships especially as a father is the apex of this seminar. Dr. Keith also speaks to the need for men to return to the church, for men to befriend and speak the forgiveness of Jesus to one another, modeling true male friendship.

Calvin University - Grand Rapids, MI

Rev. Bradley Drew

Pastor Drew is a native of Michigan and attended Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, and Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1985.  Upon graduation, he enrolled in Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, to study in preparation for the ministry of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  In May of 1989, he received his Master of Divinity and Diploma of Vocation.  He served his vicarage at Mt. Calvary Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Brookings, South Dakota.

In the spring of 1989, Pastor Drew was called to be pastor of First Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and was ordained and installed on July, 2, 1989.  In November of 1998, he accepted the call to be pastor of Mount Olive Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Metairie, Louisiana, and was installed there on December 20, 1998.  To this day Pastor Drew continues to serve the watermarked at Mt. Olive.

On July 5, 1989, Pastor Drew was united in marriage to Lynne (nee Steben), who is also a graduate of Concordia College, Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The Lord has blessed their union with three children:  Jordan, Jared, and Jasmine; and two grandchildren:  Ember and George.

Rev. Chris Hull

Pastor Hull is the husband to the best wife in the world, Allison Hull, and dad to four crazy boys, Lonny, Manny, Ty, Jamie, and a daughter Avonlea. He is the Senior Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church in Tomball, TX, where he and Pastor Michael Daniels love handing the goods of the cross over to all the saints gathered there. Pastor Hull met his wife at Concordia University in River Forest where they both graduated in 2006. He graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 2010. He is currently in the Doctor of Ministry program at Fort Wayne.

He enjoys reading anything and everything by Martin Luther, especially The Bondage of the Will, The Galatians Lectures, and Table Talk. His favorite pastimes are hanging out with his wife, wrestling and doing jiu jitsu with his boys, Spurs basketball, University of Georgia football, Houston Astros baseball, dancing to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, and staring contests with Pastor Borghardt. Be sure to check out his Higher Things video series, “What Does This Mean?” on YouTube. Pastor Hull also loves wearing his lavender sport coat and sometimes even sleeps in it. Fun times.