Pastor Mary Martha
30 Years of Service Celebration

On October 17, 2021 we celebrated Pastor Mary Martha Kannass's 30 years of Service at Hephatha Lutheran Church.  

The recording of the virtual celebration is below. 

Here are some parts of the celebration

CLICK HERE to see the Video of Pictures and Music shared on October 17, 2021. Thank you Dave Bohl for the beautiful video. 

Celebration Recognition Letters
Bishop Paul Erickson Click Here
Pastor Carolyn Sellers Rizzo - Kingo Lutheran Click Here



My Pastor
 I met you at a Dark time in my life
My grandmother- the matriarch of my family- the person who taught me about God had just passed away from lung cancer and my family slowly started to fall apart at the seams
I lost my faith and ability to pray but my stubborn brother dragged me to your church just to get me out of the house for some fresh air and I will forever be grateful that he did because that is the day I had the honor of meeting you and your wonderful congregation. Everyone was so nice and friendly and the children were allowed to be children and make noise and most importantly you wouldn’t allow me to just sit in the back pew quietly and you made me introduce myself and I knew then that this was my new church home.
You were here for me during the good times of motherhood-both of my son’s we’re baptized here on Christmas Day and you also carried me through some dark times as well. You sent my daughter to the house of the Lord when she passed away at 34 days old and you were there for prayer and support when my youngest son Aidan took ill from lead poisoning. You also gave me a platform to speak up and speak out about the lead situation in Milwaukee concerning our youth and I’ve been speaking up and speaking out ever since. Even when my health took a turn for the worst and I literally lost my voice and motivation to move forward you wouldn’t allow me to give up. Even when my family started to doubt me and I even doubted myself you never gave up on me and you inspired me to be more than what I sought to accomplish
You are God’s light
leading the blind to better sight
Giving the voiceless a voice
Feeding the soul of the poor
Providing clothing and shelter for those seeking refuge in the house of the lord
You give people like me who feel lost and alone without guidance a place to worship with likeminded people all in search of God’s love and acceptance of a church family that will love and cherish them through weekly prayers and throughout their devotion
If there was ever any one who doubted the Lord all they would need to do is to meet you and they will not only be convinced that there is indeed a God but that God’s love exists and that God’s love can be found here inside of this sanctuary through you. For indeed you are the perfect example of God’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit lives and breathes through you keep teaching us to love one another as God has loved us and giving us a place of salvation.                     -Deanna Branch

Hephatha Lutheran Church takes our name from Mark 7—Jesus heals a man who is unable to speak and unable to hear with the word of prayer that gives us our name: “Be Opened.”  The man is.  We are….opened as a church to God and to our neighborhood….to you!
Hephatha began in 1913 as a neighborhood congregation formed by German immigrants.  We have been a neighborhood church our entire history, serving God and others on the north side of Milwaukee for 108 years.  In the 1960’s, Hephatha became active in the Civil Rights Movement and remained a neighborhood congregation by going from a body of largely German congregants to a body of largely African American congregants.  Hephatha remains to this day in  and of our neighborhood, a sign of how God’s care for us is particular in nature and a sign of how God calls us to be part of the community on 18th and Locust.