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LEA 2017 Christus Magister award goes to William Beckmann

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William (Bill) Beckmann was selected by the Lutheran Education Association’s Board of Directors to receive the organization’s top honor, the Christus Magister award. Since 1965, this most prestigious award has been presented to Lutheran educators who have made significant contributions to Lutheran education.

Beckmann is pastor and co-director for children’s ministries at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Batavia, Ill. Previous service includes administrative, teaching and service positions at Lutheran high schools in Illinois and Indiana. Beckmann also served as a Director of Christian Education in the early years of his ministry. He has been published many times over the course of his career, including curriculum and other writing for Concordia Publishing House and The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod School Ministry.

His current ministry is to middle school young people in Sunday school and confirmation classes. “This frequently leads me to work with parents,” he says, “where I am able to help them see how the Word impacts family life.”

Beckmann earned degrees from Concordia Collegiate Institute in Bronxville, N.Y.; Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Teachers College, Columbia University, N.Y.; and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.

In support of his nomination, one colleague said, “Even though he has been in the ministry for 50 plus years, he still studies current trends in all different aspects of ministries. He always has ideas to share with the team about what is changing in our world for kids and the direction our church needs to be going in to keep up with those changes. In our church, he is the balance that keeps the old traditions with new and upcoming traditions. Some might say he keeps the old people mixing with the new people.”

Congratulations to Pastor Beckmann on this wonderful honor and his continued service to the church and children!