On Oct. 26, the Rev. Dr. John Herzog died at the age of 75. He was the superintendent of the Lutheran High School Association from 1989 to 2011.

On Oct. 26, the Rev. Dr. John Herzog died at the age of 75. He was the superintendent of the Lutheran High School Association from 1989 to 2011.

Photo provided by History Trinity Lutheran


Former superintendent, pastor, remembered as faithful servant

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published November 10, 2021

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — He was described as a servant leader who had a heart for kids, schools and ministry.

On Oct. 26, the Rev. Dr. John Herzog died at the age of 75.

Herzog, of Chesterfield Township, was superintendent of the Lutheran High School Association of Greater Detroit from 1989 to 2011.

Visitation was held Nov. 5 at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home in Macomb Township Nov. 5. A memorial service was held Nov. 6 at Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit.

His last sermon was on Maundy Thursday, in April.

“Dr. Herzog was an incredibly faithful servant and did so much for our Lutheran High School Association,” a post on Macomb Lutheran North’s Facebook page states. “He truly loved our Lutheran High Schools.”

Speaking of Herzog, Lutheran High School Association Superintendent Paul Looker said he was definitely a servant who had a passion and direction for the high schools.

“He was very open and honest with people,” he said. “Somebody put it the other day that I didn’t always agree with him, but I always trusted him.”  

Looker is a graduate of Macomb Lutheran North, where he first worked as a teacher.

“He was assistant superintendent in 1983 when I first met him,” Looker said. “The years I got to know Dr. Herzog closest was when he was superintendent.”

Looker said as principal of Lutheran Northwest, he would regularly meet with Herzog.

What stands out to Looker about Herzog is, if he came forth with a “lame idea or opinion,” Herzog was never condescending.

“No matter how much he would disagree with you, you would never feel he wasn’t listening or didn’t respect your opinion,” Looker said. “There was no end to the creative ideas he had.”

The current superintendent described Herzog’s leadership style as servant leadership.

“There was no job too big, no job too small for Dr. Herzog,” Looker said. “He would never hesitate to roll up his sleeves.”  

In Macomb Township, Immanuel Lutheran School Principal Joel Neumeyer said Herzog was a larger-than-life man.

“His presence was known when he was with you,” he said. “Kind of a gentle giant kind of a man. He had a booming voice that got your attention.”

Neumeyer is also on the Lutheran High School Association Board of Directors. While he wasn’t on the board when Herzog was superintendent, Neumeyer mentioned that Herzog had a heart for kids, schools and ministry.

“As superintendent, he did great things as far as helping lay the foundation for the LHSA,” he said.

On Facebook, Doris August wrote that Herzog was a “giant leader in God’s family with such a profound impact on all the ministries he worked with and all the people he ministered to.”

August added that she is grateful for the times Herzog filled in at small congregations to support them during vacancies, as well as for his tireless work at the high school level.

Herzog’s biography on the church’s website indicates he was appointed superintendent in July 1989. The association is based in Rochester Hills and consists of Macomb Lutheran North, Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest, and Lutheran Westland.

He completed the doctoral program at Wayne State University in May 1990. Herzog earned a Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Illinois, and a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Sangamon State University, also in Springfield.

Herzog joined the cathedral ministry of Historic Trinity Lutheran Church in Detroit as an assisting pastor in 1988.

He married Marlene Federwitz in 1968. The couple has two sons and two grandchildren.

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