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Family Bible Hour
Pastor William Fenker
Education—Rev. William Fenker was born and raised in Cincinnati. He is a graduate of St. Paul Lutheran Elementary School, Mariemont High School, the University of Cincinnati, and Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Divinity. He also studied at Concordia Teachers College, Chicago in the Director of Christian Education program.
His Service to the Church—Pastor Fenker served for 20 years as the pastor of several congregations in Wisconsin and currently has been serving St. Mark’s as Senior Pastor since 2002. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology at Concordia University Wisconsin in the School of Adult and Continuing Education.
Family and Personal Information—Pastor Fenker married Shirley Hoffman of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada on July 22, 1978. Shirley attended Concordia University, Ann Arbor and Concordia Teachers College, Chicago, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and certification as a Director of Christian Education.
The Lord blessed Pastor Fenker and Shirley with two children, Aaron and Naomi, both born in Neenah, Wisconsin. Their son is now the Rev. Aaron Fenker serving as a pastor in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He lives with his wife Sarah and family in Bremen, Kansas. They have four children (beautiful grandchildren)! Naomi attended Concordia University Ann Arbor, has taught English at Concordia High School and at Indiana/Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and is an author and photographer. She is married to Rev. Curtis Stephens who is also a pastor in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. They live in Barberton, Ohio with their two children (beautiful grandchildren)!
Pastor Fenker enjoys hobbies which include coin collecting and home remodeling projects. He is an enthusiastic fan of the Green Bay Packers and Cincinnati Reds since childhood. Whenever the Packers win, Pastor Fenker celebrates “Packer Tuesday” with his 7th and 8th grade religion class by bringing in free donuts for the students!
Christian Education Opportunities
Who Are Lutherans?
Lutherans are Christians who accept the teachings of Martin Luther (1483-1546AD) based on Holy Scripture. Luther was a German theologian who realized that there were significant differences between what he read in the Bible and the practices of the Roman Catholic Church at that time. On October 31, 1517, he posted a challenge on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, titled “95 Theses” (to debate 95 theological issues). His hope was that the church would reform its practices and preaching to be more consistent with the Word of God in the Bible.
What started as an academic debate grew into a distinct separation between the Roman Catholic Church of that time and those who accepted Luther’s reforms. “Lutherans” became the name of those that agreed with Luther’s convictions.
Today, five centuries later, Lutherans still celebrate the Reformation on October 31 and still hold to the basic principles of Luther’s teachings. His teachings can be summarized in three simple phrases—Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Scripture Alone. These are the very heart of our Lutheran beliefs.
We are saved by the grace of God alone—not by any good deeds we do. Our salvation is through faith alone—a confident trust in God, who in Christ promises us forgiveness, life, and salvation. The Bible is the norm for faith and life—the true basis for all our teachings and practices.