Speaker Biographies



Pastor Earle Treptow

After four years in an exploratory mission outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and five years as a recruitment director at Martin Luther College, in New Ulm, Minnesota, Pastor Treptow accepted a call to serve as pastor at Zion, Denver, Colorado. During that time he was elected to serve as the president of the WELS Nebraska District and as a member of the synod’s Conference of Presidents, a role in which he served for 5.5 years. In January 2016, after 13+ years in Colorado, he moved to Mequon, Wisconsin, upon accepting the Lord’s call to serve on the faculty of Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. Professor Treptow teaches courses in Systematic Theology (doctrine) and Old Testament and currently serves as vice-president and interim academic dean. He is a contributing editor of Forward in Christ. Married to Jeanne since 1993, they have three children: daughter Jordan, who is married and living in Colorado; Bennett, who recently graduated from college and is working in Milwaukee; and Ty, who is in eighth grade at Christ Alone, Thiensville, Wisconsin.


Pastor Tom Engelbrecht

Pastor Tom Engelbrecht:  I have preached and presented at a number of "at peace?" retreats and am humbled by the opportunity to participate again this year.  Nothing brings peace into our lives quite like the grace of God that we will have the opportunity to study and discuss together! I have the privilege of serving as one of the pastors at Christ Lutheran Church in Pewaukee, WI.  I am married to my beautiful wife, Jackie, and we have four children: Jonas (9 years old), Silas (8 years old), Lucas (6 years old), and Cecily (4 years old). We, like so many others, have a bustling life and desperately cling to the source of our peace, Jesus Christ, as we seek to glorify God with our lives.


Stephanie halldorson

Hi there! My name is Stephanie Halldorson and I have the privilege of reflecting, presenting, and learning with you as we look at God’s Grace in Change.  I am married to Canadian born and raised Pastor Jeff Halldorson who serves the wonderful saints of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Slades Corners, WI.  Together we have raised 4 daughters, served in both Canada and the U.S. in various settings and often very creative ways. My most recent big change involves becoming a high school special education teacher in Elkhorn, Wisconsin as well as working to obtain a Masters in Special Education by Spring of 2019.  I continue to be amazed at God’s Grace in Change as he provides just the right amount of experience to keep me humbled and yet encouraged.  I look forward to our time together in worship and in studying God’s Word.


Kathy Wendland

Kathie Wendland grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. She is a registered nurse, and has served in various capacities in three countries on two continents, ranging from secular positions such as US Navy Officer (Nurse Corp), Frontier Nursing Service in Hyden, KY, ICU nurse at Milwaukee County General Hospital, night administrator of nursing at a large hospital in Milwaukee, home health nurse in Milwaukee, in a nurse practitioner role (without the degree and before a degree was required) at both the Canadian High Commission and American Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, to serving in WELS ecclesiastical positions such as Central Africa Medical Mission assistant “sister in charge” with the Salima Lutheran Mobile Clinic in Salima, Malawi, Africa, relief nurse at Mwembezhi Lutheran Rural Health Centre, Zambia, nurse recruiter and advisor on the WELS Central Africa Medical Mission Committee, and currently as parish nurse for her home congregation in Mishicot, WI. Presently Kathie is employed taking care of little calves, about 60 – 80 of them, on a dairy farm. She’s been privileged to lead women’s Bible studies for over 20 years.



Mahtob Mahmoody is an American author who wrote the autobiographical memoir My Name is Mahtob, which depicts her perspective of her family's story when she and her mother, Betty Mahmoody, were held captive by her father in his country of birth, Iran, for a period of 18 months during the mid-1980s. Her mother wrote her version of their story in her 1987 biography Not Without My Daughter.


Rachel Fritz

Rachel Fritz serves her Savior as Chief Operations Officer at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Outside of work you will find her biking, hiking, reading, card-making, or at one of the 30 Major League Baseball ballparks. She loves spending time with her nieces, nephew and goddaughters. She is blessed to worship with the community at Redemption Lutheran Church in Milwaukee WI.