I have been serving Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Birmingham, Michigan, since May 2018.
I was born the youngest of three boys. I am the son of the Reverend Mark Gaertner and Kathy Myers. I was baptized into Christ Jesus on January 26, 1975. I am married to Christi. I am the father of two boys, Henry and Lucas.
After graduating from Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Michigan, I went to Valparaiso University. I graduated in 1997 with a BA in Classical Languages and the Humanities. In the fall of 1997 I began my studies for the Holy Ministry at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, Missouri, receiving the Master of Divinity degree on May 18, 2001. In May 2013 I completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at Luther Seminary. My thesis is about how preaching the catechism, the chief parts of the Christian faith, is an important part of faith formation in a congregation.