Meet Pastor Speckhard

We asked Pastor Speckhard to share a little about himself with us. We hope you enjoy getting to know him a bit.
What are your interests/hobbies?
In addition to reading and writing, my interests and hobbies mostly have to do with sports. I love to play and watch just about every sport out there — particularly football and hockey. My family has rooted for the Packers, Blackhawks, Cubs, Fighting Irish (football), and Hoosiers (basketball) for about as long as anyone can remember. And I love to play hockey, baseball/softball, basketball, tennis, and golf (though, as a general rule, I am much better at watching than playing).
What would you like to share about your family? 
Most of my childhood was spent growing up as the oldest of four children (two brothers, one sister) in Valparaiso, Indiana. My parents still live in Valpo, and a large portion of my extended family resides in either Northern Indiana or Southern Wisconsin. I met my wife Erika (who is from East-Central Wisconsin), in college, and we have been married for nearly eight years. We have two daughters and we are expecting our third child in early December. I have been blessed beyond measure by wonderful family for my entire life.
Educational background-
I graduated from Valparaiso University with a bachelor’s degree in Classics (Greek and Latin culture/literature) in 2011. And I earned my M.Div at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana, graduating in 2015.
Ministry background-
I served my vicarage at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lincoln, Nebraska in 2013-14.
My first Call into the ministry was to Faith Lutheran Church in Godfrey, Illinois, where I served as sole pastor for five years. I am now called to serve as a sole pastor at St. Peter Lutheran Church and School in North Judson, Indiana.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
My confirmation verse is Colossians 3:23 — “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
Did anything specific lead you into the Ministry?
My extended family has had quite a few Lutheran pastors over the years. In my life, my two uncles who are pastors probably had the most influence in steering me towards pastoral ministry. I have also been blessed to be surrounded by quality pastors in a variety of congregational and academic settings, which certainly helped to solidify my desire to pursue this vocation. I honestly do not recall a specific time or moment when I felt called to serve for the first time. Rather, that calling simply developed gradually, beginning at a young age, and the Lord has opened all of the necessary doors to allow me to continue along this path.
Do you have a favorite or meaningful memory related to your faith journey? 
In addition to having been raised in a strong Christian family, I would mention the hours and hours I spent as a part of the youth group at my home congregation. That youth group was absolutely critical to the formation of my faith during some fairly formative years.
What are you hoping for in the future in regard to the ministry at St. Peter? What is your vision for the church & school?
First and foremost, my family and I greatly looking forward to becoming a part of the North Judson community. The town and surrounding areas seem to be filled with kind, caring, hardworking people, and we are so excited to get to know the individuals and households that make this place what it is. Our sincere hope is that North Judson will quickly become “home” to our children, and remain “home” for us for many, many years.
In terms of pastoral ministry, my hope for the future is that St. Peter continues to be a place where all people can come, learn, and receive God’s love. For our members, I hope to share the unceasing spiritual care that our Lord has provided for His Church — by preaching the Gospel, teaching Christian doctrine, administering Jesus’ gifts of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and visiting God’s people in this place, I intend to ensure that St. Peter will remain a sanctuary where all people can come and find rest for their souls.
In the same vein, my hope for St. Peter Lutheran School is that it continues to be a place where families in our town and region can send their children to learn and grow — intellectually, emotionally, and above all, spiritually. What a tremendous opportunity this school has to be a beacon of light and love for children and their families, even as the world seems increasingly shrouded by darkness and fear. There is not a child in the world for whom Jesus did not die, and we would love nothing more than to share this good news with everyone who comes through our doors. I cannot wait to begin working with Ms. Reimers and the excellent staff here at St. Peter to help our students, family, and school community grow in the faith!
How do you hope St. Peter will reach the community?
Wherever Christians gather to receive God’s Word and gifts, they have an opportunity to share God’s love with the neighbors whom God has placed into their lives. As a congregation, we will seek to equip all of our members with anything they need to bring Christ into the lives of their families and friends. The most important element of this mission is to ensure that our people are being fed and led by Jesus every single week in worship. With that as our foundation, we will be able to go out into the world to serve as we have been served, and love as we have been loved!