Pastor John Seifert
By the time John Seifert had graduated from Dr. Martin Luther High School in New Ulm, Minnesota in 1965, he had decided to become a minister in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS). He therefore decided to attend Northwestern College in Watertown, WI. Northwestern’s liberal arts program with its emphasis on religion, history, and especially the biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew) provided a solid foundation for his theological studies. Upon Pastor Seifert’s graduation from Northwestern in 1969, he enrolled at the Wisconsin Synod’s pastoral training school, Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary of Mequon, WI. There his course of study included not only academic courses like church history and doctrine, but practical courses like preaching and counseling. Underscoring the entire curriculum were courses devoted to careful study of God’s Word in its original languages. When Pastor Seifert graduated in 1973, he was assigned to a new WELS church in Midland, Michigan, Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church. The small congregation met in a school gym until property was purchased on the corner of Washington and Wheeler Roads in Midland. The congregation continued growing, and by 1979 a Lutheran Elementary School was started. As both the congregation and the school increased in size, a total of three additions have been added to the original church.
Before being elected President of the Michigan District of the WELS, Pastor Seifert served as a Circuit Pastor and as a member of the WELS Board of Trustees as well as being the sole pastor of Good Shepherd. In 1994 he was elected president of the Michigan District of the WELS, a position he has been re-elected to eleven times. With the additional responsibilities as District President, an assistant pastor and two church secretaries were added.
Married to Barbara Duehlmeier in 1970, their life has been devoted to the church. Barb Seifert is a teacher of the middle grades at Good Shepherd as well as being a regular organist at Good Shepherd. They have four children who have followed their parents’ examples serving in the public ministry. Sons Michael and Joel Seifert are pastors in the WELS and daughters Ann and Sarah are teachers in Lutheran Elementary Schools.
In a time of upheaval in mainline churches, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod has held unswervingly to the basic principles of a Christ-centered church. Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church in Midland continues to follow the biblical doctrine first espoused by Martin Luther who began the Reformation in Germany: Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia and Sola Fide, by Scripture alone, by grace alone and by faith alone.
Pastor Jacob Behnken
Pastor Behnken joined the Good Shepherd family in 2012. After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, he received a call to serve as Pastoral Assistant to the Michigan District President, Pastor John Seifert. Pastor Behnken feels privileged to have the opportunity to work with Pastor Seifert and to serve the people of Good Shepherd and of Midland with the good news of Jesus!
Pastor Behnken oversees much of the ministry at Good Shepherd. In addition to regular preaching, Pastor Behnken teaches Bible classes, catechism classes, visits members, and plans evangelism and worship at Good Shepherd. For the 2016-2017 school year, Pastor Behnken is also serving as interim-principal of Good Shepherd’s Lutheran Elementary School. In his free time, Pastor Behnken enjoys music of all kinds, reading, and woodworking.
In June of 2007, Pastor Behnken married his high-school sweetheart, Carrie. Carrie is a primary-grades teacher but is currently taking time to be at home with the Behnken’s young son and daughter.
Pastor Behnken looks forward to any opportunity to serve you and your family with the good news of the Savior!