Speakers

Kathleen R. Achterberg is minister of Music at St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, Austin, Texas. A graduate of Concordia University Nebraska (B.S. in Education) and Concordia University Chicago (Master of Church Music), she has served congregations in Illinois, Michigan and Texas. She has served as an instructor and leader for both national and regional workshops in worship, as accompanist for the Austin Children’s Choir and on committees for the American Guild of Organists, the Texas District, Concordia Publishing House and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) Worship Institute’s planning committee.

Faythe R. Freese, professor of Organ at the University of Alabama, has performed throughout the United States, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and Singapore. She has been a featured recitalist at various regional gatherings of the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and performed at the AGO National Convention in Washington, D.C., in 2010. As a Fulbright scholar, Dr. Freese studied with Jean Langlais in France and Heinz Wunderlich in Germany. Other teachers include Marilyn Keiser, Robert Rayfield, William Eifrig and Phillip Gehring; she has coached with Dame Gillian Weir, Simon Preston and Daniel Roth. Dr. Freese previously played at the 2008 Good Shepherd Institute (GSI) conference.

Charles A. Gieschen has served on the faculty of Concordia Theological Seminary (CTS) since 1996, teaching in the area of New Testament Studies. He was first associate then senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Traverse City, Michigan (1985–96). In addition to the M.Div. from CTS, he also earned the Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary and the Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in the Department of Near Eastern Studies. Since 2007 he has served as the faculty representative to the LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations, and since 2011 he has served as academic dean at CTS.

Paul J. Grime is dean of the Chapel and associate professor of Pastoral Ministry and Missions at CTS. He served as executive director for the LCMS Commission on Worship from 1996 to 2007. During that time, he was project director for Hymnal Supplement 98 and Lutheran Service Book. Prior to his service on the Commission, he served eight years as senior pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, West Allis, Wisconsin. He has music degrees from Valparaiso University (B.Mus.) and the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (M.Mus.). His theology degrees are from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne (M.Div., S.T.M.), and Marquette University (Ph.D.).

Kevin J. Hildebrand served 12 years as associate kantor at CTS before being appointed seminary kantor in 2014. He is an experienced teacher of both children and adults and is the director of the Youth Choir of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School, Fort Wayne, where he also serves as associate kantor. A graduate of Concordia University Chicago, he also has Master’s Degrees in Music and Theology from The University of Michigan and Concordia Theological Seminary, respectively. He is a frequent recitalist and hymn festival presenter, as well as an active composer whose works are published by Concordia Publishing House and MorningStar Music Publishers. He is currently editing Concordia Publishing House’s 12-volume Hymn Prelude Library.

Matthew A. Machemer is a 2007 music education graduate of Concordia University Chicago. He has served parishes in Illinois and Michigan, most recently as kantor at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Hartland, Michigan. Called as associate kantor at CTS in 2014, Machemer has been active as a composer, with several of his pieces published by Concordia Publishing House.



Larry A. Peters was born and raised in northeast Nebraska. After attending St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas, and Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, he received a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, in 1980. He was called to Resurrection Lutheran Church, Cairo, New York (1980–1992), and then as senior pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, Clarksville, Tennessee (1993–present). Pastor Peters is widely published, including nearly 100 hymn texts. He has served the larger church at both the District and Synod level. He was an introductory leader for Lutheran Worship, Hymnal Supplement 98 and Lutheran Service Book. He is well known for his popular blog, “Pastoral Meanderings.”

D. Richard Stuckwisch is the pastor of Emmaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana, where he has served since his ordination in May 1996. He earned his Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from the University of Notre Dame and his S.T.M. in Church History from CTS. He served on the Lutheran Service Book project from the beginning of that work in 1999 and served on the LCMS Indiana District's Worship and Spiritual Care Committee for nine years. He currently serves as the circuit visitor of the LCMS Indiana District’s South Bend Circuit.

William C. Weinrich has served as professor of Church History at CTS since 1975, specializing in Early Church and New Testament Studies. He earned his doctorate at the University of Basel, Switzerland, focusing on the role of martyrdom in the Early Church. He served for more than a decade as academic dean at CTS. From 2007–2010 he was the rector and chief instructor at the theological seminary of the Lutheran Church in Latvia. Dr. Weinrich is currently writing a three-volume commentary on the Gospel of John for the Concordia Commentary Series.