Editors and Staff
Rev. Fr. Burnell F. Eckardt Jr., M. Div., S.T.M., Ph.D., Editor-in-chief
The Rev. Burnell F. Eckardt Jr. is Pastor of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Kewanee, Illinois, and has been editor-in-chief since 1995. He holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Marquette University (1991), and an S.T.M. (1984) and an M.Div. (1981) from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has occasionally served as an adjunct professor for that seminary since 1985, and has also served parishes in Virginia and Wisconsin. An author of several books and sometime composer of sacred music, he is also known locally as the man behind the piano in the community jazz band. A native of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Dr. Eckardt and his wife Carol have six sons, four daughters-in-law, and eight grandchildren.
Rev. Fr. Mark P. Braden, A.A., B.A., M.S., M. Div., S.T.M., Departmental Editor (Taking Pains)
The Rev. Mark P. Braden is Pastor of Zion Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Detroit. He holds both the M. Div. and S.T.M. degrees from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he is an adjunct faculty member, teaching online Biblical Greek. He teaches regularly throughout South and Central America, and is an adjunct faculty member and visiting professor in both Venezuela and the Dominican Republic, working also in the Bolivian and Colombian churches. He is an International Fellow for the Luther Academy, a presenter at theological conferences, and has taught at Concordia University, Ann Arbor. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Center Association. Fr. Braden and his wife Patty have one daughter, and enjoy traveling together when time allows. His degree in Culinary Arts allowed him to teach Haute Cuisine for several years, and to regularly enjoy food and wine.
Rev. Fr. Karl F. Fabrizius, M. Div., Ph.D., Departmental Editor (Musings on the Mysteries)
The Rev. Karl F. Fabrizius has been the Pastor of Our Father's Lutheran Church in Greenfield, Wisconsin, since 1984. He holds a Ph.D. in historical theology from Marquette University (1994) and an M.Div. (1984) from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has written a ten volume series of Bible Stories for Daily Prayer that is published by Concordia Catechetical Academy which is suitable for Lutheran schools, home schooling, and private devotions. He and his wife Darcy have been blessed with three sons, a daughter-in-law, and one grandson. When not caring for his flock, he is often found in his basement surrounded by wine racks and making yet more wine in abundance.
Rev. Fr. David H. Petersen, M. Div., S.T.M., Departmental Editor (Commentary on the War)
The Rev. David H. Petersen has been the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana, since 2000 and has been a departmental editor since 2006. He holds an S.T.M. (2012) and an M.Div. (1996) from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Fairgrove, Michigan, from 1996 until 2000. He is the author of two books of sermons available from Emmanuel Press in Fort Wayne. Fr. Petersen and his wife Jacqueline enjoy touring on a motorcycle, throwing darts, and various other low-brow activities. They have three children, two of whom are married, and one grandchild.
Chaplain (Colonel) Jonathan E. Shaw, M. Div., M.A., CGSOC, S.T.M., M.S.S., D.D., Departmental Editor (Sabre of Boldness)
Chaplain (Colonel) Jonathan E. Shaw currently serves as Director of Operations, U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, Pentagon. Ordained in 1984, he served parishes of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Winchester, VA, before beginning full-time military service in 1988. Previous assignments include Command Chaplain, U.S. Army Europe (2015-2016); Professor of Ethics, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, PA (2012-2015); Command Chaplain and Faculty, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center and Fort Leavenworth, KS (2010-2012); and service to soldiers in units of the Infantry, Field Artillery, Aviation, Air Defense Artillery, Engineer, Signal, Medical, Enlisted Training, Garrison Operations, Officer Education, Department of the Army, and the Joint Force, in combat operations (Panama, Iraq), deployments (Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia), and overseas assignments (South Korea, Germany). Chaplain Shaw’s education includes M. Div. and STM, Systematic Theology, Concordia Theological Seminary, Ft. Wayne, 1984 and 2004; MA, Ethics, Vanderbilt, 1999; CGSOC, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2003; MSS, Strategic Studies, U.S. Army War College, 2010; and Doctor of Divinity, Concordia University, Irvine, 2015. He has published in the areas of systematic theology, homiletics, liturgics, the free exercise of religion, religion in policy and strategy, moral reasoning, just war, and moral injury. Chaplain Shaw is a founding editor of the journal Gottesdienst (1990). He and his wife Brenda have been married since 1980, and enjoy their three children and six grandchildren.
Rev. Fr. Larry L. Beane II, M. Div., Departmental Editor (Sermons), Online Editor
The Rev. Larry Beane has been pastor of Salem Lutheran Church in Gretna, Louisiana since 2005, and has served as an online editor since 2008 and departmental editor since 2010. He holds an MDiv (2004) from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has taught Apologetics, Economics, and Government at Wittenberg Academy since 2013. He has served as the chaplain of the David Crockett Volunteer Fire Company in Gretna since 2011, and became a chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol in 2017. He was privileged to teach at Lutheran seminars in Siberia in 2011 and 2015. He lives in a historic shotgun house with his wife Grace, son Leonidas, and several feline friends. He loves living in South Louisiana, is a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and appropriately rides a Honda Rebel.
Rev. Fr. Benjamin Ball, M. Div., Online Editor and Conferences
The Rev. Benjamin Ball is the Senior Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School in Hamel, Illinois, where he has served since 2012. A graduate of Concordia University, River Forest, Illinois (B.A., 1995) and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri (M.Div., 1999), he has previously served pastorates at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Dedham, Massachusetts (1999-2004) and St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Brookfield, Illinois (2004-2012). He is the 6th Vice-President of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, representing the Synod’s Central Region. He and his wife Serena have been blessed with four children. He can often be found with his children in the field or timber in an effort to provide fresh meat for their table.
Rev. Fr. D. Richard Stuckwisch Jr., PhD, Departmental Editor (Gottesdienst Online)
Rev. Dr. D. Richard Stuckwisch is Pastor of Emmaus Lutheran Church in South Bend, Indiana, where he has served since his ordination in May 1996. A graduate of Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska (BA, 1988), Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana (MDiv, 1993; STM, 2003), and the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana (MA, 1996; PhD, 2003), he served on the Lutheran Service Book project from 1998 to 2006, and on the Indiana District Worship Committee from 2003 to 2012. He currently serves as first vice president of the Indiana District. He and his wife LaRena were married in 1985 and have been blessed with ten children, three of them now married, and seven grandchildren so far. He especially enjoys reading aloud to his children, listening to a wide variety of music, and visiting his grandchildren whenever he is able.
Rev. Fr. Jason Braaten, M. Div., Development Director, Departmental Editor (Gottesdienst Online and Host of the Gottescrowd Podcast)
The Rev. Jason M. Braaten is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Tuscola, Illinois. He is a graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary (MDiv, 2006) and Concordia University Chicago (BA, 2000). He has served as Logic instructor for Wittenberg Academy since 2011. Fr. Braaten also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund of the LCMS. Prior to his service at Immanuel, he was a Major Gifts Fundraiser for Concordia Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Lauren, have five children. He enjoys dabbling in many things, but is a master of none of them.