Meet the missionaries who will be commissioned on June 11:
Rev. Keegan Dowling – One Africa Team Missionary
Keegan J. Dowling was born August 3, 1979. He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., in 2002 and from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis., in 2013. Pastor Dowling has held a multitude of jobs, from teaching in California and China all the way to flying aircraft and being an ordinary seaman on Great Lakes freighter ships. After eight years as an officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve, he received his Honorable Discharge in October 2010, with the rank of Lieutenant (O-3). He has lived in seven states and three different countries.
He and his wife, Kathryn, have four kids: Maximilian (Max) born in 2010, Augustine (Gus) born in 2013, Scheherazade (Zade) born in 2014, and Jael (Ellie) born in 2017. All six are dual citizens of the United States and Canada.
Pastor Dowling served as parish pastor of Abiding Word, Orléans, Ontario, Canada, from his graduation from seminary in 2013 until the spring of 2022, when he accepted a call to serve as a member of the outreach committee of the One Africa Team. He has wanted to be a missionary since the age of eight and is excited to connect with individuals and groups throughout the continent of Africa to explore possible fellowship connections with WELS. He and his family are moving to Lusaka, Zambia, in the summer of 2022.
Rev. Benjamin Foxen – One Africa Team Missionary
Benjamin Foxen was born November 22, 1982. He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., in 2005 and from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis., in 2010. Pastor Foxen served as a missionary to Russia from 2010-2016, and as pastor of Cross of Glory Lutheran Church in Peoria, Ariz., from 2016-present.
He and his wife Rebekah, née Laitinen, were married in New Ulm, Minn., on July 2, 2006. God has blessed them with four children: Levi (14), Kirsi (11), Katya (6), and Leia (3).
Shortly, Pastor Foxen and his family will head to Lusaka, Zambia. He will serve on the outreach committee of the One Africa Team as it seeks to engage the whole continent of Africa with the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Conifer Berg – Missionary to London and the U.K.
Conifer Berg, son of Haley and Martin Berg, was born in 1995 in Appleton, Wis. He was confirmed at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church in Appleton. Conifer went to high school at Appleton North High School and graduated from Luther Preparatory School in Watertown, Wis. He graduated from Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minn., in 2017. He spent his vicar year serving at Christ Lutheran Church in Denver, Colo., graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis., in 2022, and was assigned as a missionary to London and the U.K.
Conifer and Ruth, née Nitz, were married in Appleton, Wis., on June 17, 2016. God-willing, Conifer and Ruth will be moving to the United Kingdom this summer. Conifer will be part of the Europe mission team as one of the missionaries to London. He is extremely honored to have this opportunity and looks forward to seeing first-hand the wonders God will do through his Word across the pond. Conifer is also a big football (soccer) fan and is excited to live and work in such a multi-cultural area of the world.