2021 Conference Speakers

We are blessed to have an amazing group of speakers to be with us on April 10, 2021 for our 2021 Men of Truth Conference: Band of Brothers!

MLC Praise Ensemble – led by Judy Martens

Judy is the director of the Piano program for the New Ulm Suzuki School of Music, a Suzuki piano teacher and an adjunct piano teacher at Martin Luther College in New Ulm.  She has students from the age of 4 to 24.  She enjoys accompanying for students, playing for church services, and playing for relaxation and enjoyment at home.  

Pastor Mark Jeske

Pastor Mark Jeske brought the good news of Jesus Christ to viewers of Time of Grace for 18 years. He is currently the senior pastor at St. Marcus Church, a thriving multicultural congregation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mark is the author of several books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics. He and his wife, Carol, have four adult children.

Get a Brother. You’re Not Alone.

Keynote Speaker, Pastor Mark Jeske, will bring us a message on the benefits of getting a Christian brother. You don’t need to go at it alone. As Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Find that brother. Support and strengthen each other.


Dr. Ben Kohls

Dr. Ben Kohls is the Director of Graduate Studies in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Bethany Lutheran College. This is the first master’s degree program to be offered by Bethany. He is also a licensed professional clinical counselor in Minnesota and provides therapy services through Christian Family Solutions. He earned his PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of South Dakota, a Master of Science in Community Counseling from MSU-Mankato, and a Bachelor of Science in Staff Ministry from Martin Luther College.

Previously, Dr. Kohls taught graduate courses in clinical mental health counseling at the University of South Dakota and South Dakota State University from 2012-2018. He also served as a clinical instructor and supervisor for the USD Sanford School of Medicine.

Dr. Kohls has been active as a professional counselor for over 10 years and has experience working with youth, families, and adults in a wide range of clinical settings, including residential care, in-home therapy, acute inpatient psychiatric hospital care, partial hospital programing, and outpatient clinics. As a therapist for Christian Family Solutions, Dr. Kohls integrates biblical truths into the counseling process while utilizing skills and strategies grounded in evidence-based practices.

In addition to counselor education and clinical work, Dr. Kohls is also the host of The Well Mind Podcast, where he engages guests from diverse fields of study in meaningful conversations about mental, physical, and spiritual wellness.

Mr. Phil Scriver

Mr. Phil Scriver is a Martin Luther College graduate with a Masters in Educational Ministry. He currently lives in New Ulm, MN, with his wife and their four boys. He considers it an awesome privilege to raise four young men with his wife to be men of faith.

Phil’s career to date has included time teaching in Beijing through the Friends of China program, teaching and being the principal in our Lutheran day schools, and the Director of Missions Advancement at Minnesota Valley Lutheran high school, He is currently teaching in the public school system. He notes, “One of the great blessings of attending MLC and living and working in a variety of places is the relationships that have developed. We have brothers and sisters in the faith all over the world. Christian brotherhood means a lot to me as I have had many opportunities to build up and be built up.”

Phil was diagnosed with melanoma just under two years ago. It started on the skin but has now metastasized in his  brain. He notes the  overwhelming support they have received has magnified the value of the Christian family.

Pastor Tim Hartwig

Reverend Tim Hartwig was born and raised in Queensland, Australia, and grew up on a small farm outside the town of Gympie. His parents raised him with good Christian example, to which Pastor Hartwig attributes much of his desire to serve Christ’s church. After graduating from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) in 1993, he worked in underground gold mines in Western Australia. Though he enjoyed the hard physical labor and the financial rewards, an important part of him was left unfulfilled. In August 1997, he entered Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary.

The summer of 2000 saw big changes in his life. On June 3, he married Katie nee Quist. Four weeks later, they moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, where he started serving Our Saviour Lutheran Church and School and Family of God Lutheran Church, Bullhead City, Arizona, as a Vicar. On June 24th, 2001 he was ordained and installed as the Pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Lake Havasu City. What began as a 12-month Arizona adventure turned into 11 years of service.

In June 2011, Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church of North Mankato called Pastor Hartwig to be their Pastor. The Holy Spirit led him to accept the call and he was installed on August 14.

Pastor Hartwig and Katie have been blessed with seven children. He loves seeing them grow in the grace and knowledge of their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Be a Brother. Don’t Go Alone.

Our panel speakers will discuss the value of being a Christian brother. Just as important as getting a Christian brother, you also need to be a Christian brother. Be there for your brothers. Support them when they’re weak. Celebrate them when they’re strong. Be there for them always.

Mrs. Michelle Markgraf

Michelle Markgraf is a graduate of Martin Luther College, and she spent several years in WELS classrooms. The Lord’s words in Matthew 25, “Whatever you have done for the least of these…” led her to volunteer at the local rape and domestic abuse crisis center as an advocate in 2011. She then served on its board of directors and became executive director for the agency in 2015. In 2018 she became an adjunct professor for the University of South Dakota, teaching a Family Violence class. Michelle currently works for Kingdom Workers and lives in New Ulm, MN with her husband.

Know Your Sisters. Seek First to Understand.

Michelle will bring us a message on the importance of being aware and listening. Physical violence, verbal and emotional abuse affects both women and men alike. Christian homes do not enjoy a special exemption from this sin. As you’re getting a brother and being a brother, know your sisters. Pay attention. Listen for the queues. Recognize the signs. Be there for them and treat your sisters (and brothers) well.