Here I Write – Conference Speakers

The Rev. Roy S. Askins recently moved to Illinois where he lives with his wife and their seven children. He serves The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as managing editor of The Lutheran Witness.

Previously, he served as the communications manager of the Asia region of the LCMS. He also served Trinity Lutheran Church, Livingston, TX from 2010 to 2015. He studied pastoral ministry at Concordia University Wisconsin and received his M.Div. from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN. When he’s not editing or reading, he can be found covered in sawdust or motor oil.


Sarah Baughman has been writing since she was a child. At Concordia University Chicago, she majored in Theology and Minored in English. Her latest novel, A Flame in the Dark, was published by Concordia Publishing House in 2018, in addition to two self-published novels. She hopes her fiction will serve to show how God is at work in the lives of people, and inspire and encourage readers to seek Him in His Word. Sarah lives in Texas with her husband and children.

 

 


Sharla Fritz is a Christian author and speaker who weaves honest and humorous stories into life-changing Bible study. Author of Enough for Now, Waiting, Soul Spa, and Bless These Lips, Sharla writes about God’s transforming grace. Sharla lives in the Chicago suburbs with her amusing pastor-husband. They have two grown children and four grandchildren. Other pursuits include teaching piano and directing the church choir. Sharla loves traveling, reading, and hunting down fabulous finds at the resale shop!

 

 


Katherine Kramer is Assistant Headmaster of Immanuel Lutheran School in Alexandria, Virginia, and has a Bachelor of Arts from Patrick Henry College in the Classical Liberal Arts with an emphasis on Pedagogy and minor studies in Literature. Ms. Kramer’s experience includes working with autistic children, and she has received training in Biblical counseling. As a member of the Society for Classical Learning, she is an enthusiastic advocate for the holistic Classical approach to teaching, and is inspired to see students developing into young men and women who love God and serve their neighbor.

Ms. Kramer leads the professional development for Immanuel’s faculty and has written for the Classical Lutheran Education Journal and presented at the Consortium for Classical Lutheran Education’s summer conference. She served previously as Immanuel’s lead teacher in the Upper School, where she enjoyed developing the thinking skills and the moral imagination of students through excellent conversations and stories. She is a member of Immanuel Church where she teaches Sunday School.


Cheryl Magness is managing editor of Reporter, the official newspaper of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). She is also assistant editor at sisterdaughtermotherwife.com and a contributor to He Restores My Soul: Writings on Cross and Comfort from Emmanuel Press.

Cheryl has written for a variety of print and web publications, including The Federalist, Touchstone, The Lutheran Witness, American Thinker, Newsmax and OnFaith. She holds bachelor’s degrees in music and secondary education from the University of North Texas and a master’s degree in English from the University of Houston. She has taught high school and college English for 30 years.

Cheryl is married to Phillip Magness, an LCMS missionary and parish musician, and they have three children. She thinks the Oxford comma is overrated, the ellipsis sorely abused, and the singular use of “they” an affront to humanity.


Kirk Meyer owns and operates Kloria Publishing. Known for fostering the love of Lutheran hymns since 2005, Kloria has recently expanded to produce a line of children’s picture books. Kirk and his wife, Lawanda, personally oversee the production of each book, pairing theologically rich hymn texts with engaging storylines and realistic illustrations. Soli Deo gloria!

Kirk graduated from Bethany Lutheran College with a degree in the Liberal Arts, a concentration in religious studies, and a mathematics minor. Outside of Kloria, he operates a software engineering consultancy and is an accomplished musician, playing piano and organ. The Meyers educate their three children at home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


Mary Jackquelyn Moerbe is an LCMS deaconess and writer, who enjoys preparing resources for the church. She and her husband, Rev. Ned A. Moerbe, have six young children and live in Oklahoma, where Mary homeschools, runs LutheranHomeschool.com, and regularly blogs at maryjmoerbe.com to encourage Lutherans to write. Her books include Family Vocation: God’s Calling in Marriage, Parenting, and Childhood; How Can I Help? God’s Calling for Kids; Whisper, Whisper: Learning about Church; Blessed: God’s Gift of Love; and Ecclesial Poetry.

Mary loves to encourage and cultivate community among Lutheran readers and writers. She uses her website, maryjmoerbe.com, as a place to share Lutheran resources—including new Lutheran releases, and she hosts a growing list of living Lutheran authors, Lutheran publishing houses (traditional or independent), and Lutheran Writer Support (ie. editors, indexers, proofreaders, etc.). On LutheranHomeschool.com, she gathers and shares Lutheran educational resources and hosts a marketplace for Lutheran teachers and parents to sell their own material.

Mary strives to work with words in a way that benefits the church, strengthens the Lutheran presence in society and academia, and extends the mercy freely given by the Triune God. She affirms writing as an important vehicle to spreading Christian clarity and love.


Anna Mussmann graduated from Concordia Wisconsin and taught in Lutheran schools for several years. She now spends most of her time chasing after her children and homeschooling the eldest. During naptime she writes about education, culture, and faith. Reading books to her kids is one of her favorite parts of being a mother, and she loves to share her opinions about all the books she thinks you should read, too. Anna is a fan of Jane Austen, Beatrix Potter, and dark chocolate. You can find her work on Sister, Daughter, Mother, Wife or The Federalist.

 

 


Donna Snow Pyle has authored over 35 Bible studies and travels throughout the United States and internationally to teach from Scripture. She has published five books through Concordia Publishing House and her sixth CPH book, Esther: Living Courageously For Such A Time As This, comes out in March 2021. 

Donna has authored four, full-length DVD Bible study series through the LWML. The LWML Donna Pyle Bible Study Series (8 studies in all) is currently being translated into Russian, German, Polish, Hebrew, Latvian, Norwegian, Finnish, and Ukranian to equip laypeople with the Word in their native languages through the Lutheran Church in Eurasia. 

She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency. Donna is a life-long Texan and attends Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas. She is a Houston volunteer team leader for Love 146, which seeks to abolish child trafficking and exploitation. Donna serves on the Board of Directors of Camp Lone Star, which offers Christ-centered outdoor opportunities for all ages through Lutheran Outdoors Ministry of Texas. 

She is a travel enthusiast, marginal housekeeper, closet chef, coffee freak and dabbling gardener, but home is always her favorite place to be. 


Holly Scheer is a Senior Contributor to The Federalist national news magazine. At The Federalist, she writes about culture, religion, and politics, and often about all three at the same time. She specializes in written journalism relating to pro-life issues and is a regular guest on Issues, Etc. She is also the Communications Facilitator for the English District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), where she oversees the district’s social media. She is also a founding editor of the Sisters of Katie Luther blog, where she has written on topics such as the gift of the liturgy for mothers, the problem of doubt, and closed communion. In addition to writing for the Sisters of Katie Luther blog, Holly helps to administer and create—often humorous—content for the site’s Facebook group. Most recently, Holly completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Resource Management with Western Governor’s University. She currently resides in Wyoming, where she lives with her husband and four children.


Katie Schuermann was raised in the middle of a cornfield (sometimes bean field) in rural Illinois. The youngest daughter of Bob and Cindy Roley, she learned to side the outside of a house from her father, clean the inside of a house from her mother, and fill a house with music and laughter from her sisters. She studied vocal pedagogy at Greenville University before earning masters degrees in both choral conducting and music history from the University of Missouri, Kansas City—Conservatory of Music.

Katie daily applies herself to the art of being a worthy Mrs. to her Mr. of almost eighteen years, the dashing Rev. Michael P. Schuermann, as well as brewing the perfect batch of kombucha. When time permits, she indulges in a bit of singing and writing. Her nonfiction books, He Remembers the Barren (LL 2011; 2nd ed, EP, 2017), Pew Sisters (CPH 2013), and He Restores My Soul (EP, 2018), address the topic of suffering in light of God’s promises. Her acclaimed Anthems of Zion fiction series, House of Living Stones (CPH, 2014), The Choir Immortal (CPH, 2015), and The Harvest Raise (CPH, 2017), tells the story of Emily Duke, a choir director from the big city who moves to a small town in Illinois to direct the local church choir. Contrary to popular opinion, the series is not autobiographical. Emily does not know how to side a house.


Kelly Schumacher is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and went on to create Agnus Dei Liturgical Arts. She has been a guest on KFUO Radio and Issues, Etc. discussing how art can be revitalized in the church to teach and edify Christians. She has two published children’s books, The Creation, the Fall, and the Promise and Lord, Thee I Love With All My Heart. In addition to being an illustrator and oil painter, she teaches art lessons from her home in Saint Louis Missouri and loves babysitting on the side.

 

 


Heather Smith is the wife of Rev. Sean Smith and mother to their son. She enjoys writing avocationally, drawing in part upon twelve years of experience as a classical Lutheran school teacher. Heather holds a B.A. in elementary education from Concordia University—Ann Arbor, Michigan, and an M.A. in English from The Catholic University of America. She has written for The Lutheran Witness, The Federalist, and Sister-Daughter-Mother-Wife, and also authored a chapter in the book He Restores My Soul. In addition, she twice won a one-act playwriting competition for Wyoming authors. Perhaps least importantly, she holds the dubious distinction of having written and directed more than a half dozen humorous, semi-historical plays (complete with satirical commercial breaks) for her former students.

 


Naomi Stephens is a bookworm turned teacher turned writer. She received a B.A. in English from Concordia University in Ann Arbor and an M.A. in English from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her debut novel, Shadow among Sheaves, is a 19th-century retelling of the Ruth/Boaz story, set during the British occupation of India. 

In bookstores, Naomi gravitates towards 19th-century British novels—the broodier the better (i.e., Jane Eyre)—but she can also be found perusing the young adult, mystery, and fantasy sections. Anything that keeps her turning pages past midnight.

Though she has called many places home over the years, she currently lives in Ohio with her husband, her two children, and a rascal of a dog named Sherlock. When not writing or having adventures with her family, she can be found drinking tea, practicing photography, and pining for London.


Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller is pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church and the Jesus Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Austin, TX. He served as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Aurora, CO from 2005-2019. He is the author of A Martyr’s Faith for a Messed Up World (CPH 2019), Has American Christianity Failed? (CPH, 2016), and Final Victory: Contemplating the Death and Funeral of a Christian (CPH, 2010). He is the host of Cross Defense, co-host of the Table Talk Radio podcast, posts videos on YouTube at wolfmueller1, and has a number of other theological projects that all end up on his blog, www.wolfmueller.co. Bryan is a member of the Doxology Collegium. He and his wife Keri have four children, and live in Round Rock, TX. 


Tell me more about…