Note: The third and final Wangerin preacher for the series on March 29, 2020, has been cancelled at this time.

Guest preachers for the 2019-2020 Walter Wangerin Jr. Celebration of Excellence in Preaching Series in the Fall 2019 semester were:

Sunday, Oct.  6 – 10 a.m. Wangerin Celebration of Excellence in Preaching Series: The Rev. Hesham Shehab, associate pastor for Salam Christian Fellowship at Peace Lutheran Church (LCMS), Lombard, Ill., preaches at Sunday morning worship with University Pastor James A. Wetzstein presiding. Students are invited to attend a free lunch-time discussion where they can hear more about Rev. Shehab’s journey from Islam to Christianity, in the Helge Center Multipurpose Room, following the worship service. Core Lab approved: Empathy and Dialogue.

Sunday, Nov. 3 – 10 a.m. Wangerin Celebration of Excellence in Preaching Series: The Rev. Kelly Chatman, Senior Pastor, Redeemer Lutheran Church (ELCA), Minneapolis, Minn., will preach at Sunday morning worship.  Students are invited to attend a free lunch-time discussion with Rev. Chatman, in the Helge Center Multipurpose Room, following the worship service. Core Lab approved: Empathy and Dialogue, Justice.

Here is additional information about the speakers:

Rev. Hesham Shehab

Hesham Shehab grew up in a world of bitter animosity between Muslims and Christians, which he experienced personally in a physical attack when only about 7. By age 13 he was recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood (Lebanese chapter) and later fought against Christians in the 1975 war in Lebanon.

In 1980, while Hesham was going to the American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon, for premedical studies, his brother was killed by a Christian militia. Hesham’s response was to study by day and by night take out his revenge in attacks on Christians. However, hearing the Sermon on the Mount, in a course of cultural studies at that college, brought him to faith in Christ. Hesham found in Jesus Christ a way of forgiveness and reconciliation with God instead of hatred and revenge.

Hesham did an MA in the History of the Arabs and Ph.D. studies in Islamic History. In 2001, Hesham, who worked as a journalist at two Lebanese newspapers and adjunct professor (at AUB), met a retired Lutheran pastor, Rev. Dr. Bernie Lutz, working with the Lutheran Hour Ministry (LHM) in Beirut. Dr. Lutz plugged Hesham into the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Hesham moved to the US in 2004, and finished his pastoral education at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.

In 2008, with the support of local churches, Hesham planted Salam Christian Fellowship, a mission to Muslims in the western suburbs of Chicago, and has so far baptized more than 40 people from the Middle East. Salam Christian Fellowship is a faith ministry that depends on the donations of God’s people and their zeal to fulfill the Great Commission. Salam reaches out to refugees and new immigrants from eight Middle Eastern countries, and shares the Gospel with Muslims in three languages (Arabic, Farsi, and English). Salam holds an informal celebration service meeting every week for converts, seekers, and Muslims.



Rev. Kelly Chatman

Kelly Chatman is senior pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church and director for Redeemer’s non-profit, Redeemer Center for Life and serves as advisor to the Bishop for Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

He attended Concordia University (CSP), St Paul (1969–71), graduated from Concordia Senior College in Ft Wayne, Ind. (1973), and received his Master’s of Divinity degree at Gettysburg Seminary (1986) Gettysburg, Penn.

From 1993 to 1995, Kelly worked at CSP as director for intercultural relations and went on to serve as director for youth ministries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America from 1995-2000. Then he was teacher and dean of residence at Oregon Episcopal School.

Redeemer Lutheran Church, where he serves, is a diverse congregation with a 108-year history in the Harrison neighborhood of North Minneapolis. The congregation’s non-profit includes a bike and coffee shop, youth development, health commons, 27 attainable housing units, and workforce development programs.

Boards Kelly has served on include Youthprise, Camp Amnicon, Aeon Affordable Housing Development, Cookie Cart, Gustavus College, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Plymouth Christian Youth Center, Harrison Neighborhood Association, and Wheat Ridge Ministries Foundation.

Kelly is a Princeton Theological Benjamin E. Mays Fellow with the Fund for Theological Leadership, 2006 recipient of the Luther Seminary Race, Church and Change Award. He was Portland, Oregon, Public Schools Volunteer of the Year in 1992, Mayor’s Citizen of the Year for Portland, Oregon, and 2003 recipient of the Tom Hunstad Award for distinguished leadership in Youth and Family Ministry.

Kelly is married to the amazing Dr. Cheryl Chatman who is the executive vice president and dean at Concordia University in St Paul, Minn.

The Wangerin Preaching Series was launched in 2012 to bring notable clergy to preach at Valpo’s Chapel of the Resurrection. Learn about the history of the preaching series.