Community asked for prayers for Father Mike

Pam Griffin
Father Mike Hesse

It was learned early this week that The Rev. Canon Mike Hesse, senior pastor at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer.

The Rev. Hannah Flynn, executive assistant to the rector at Immanuel, told The Log that Father Mike had gone for a routine appointment with his dermatologist when he was told of the diagnosis.

He is now at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and will remain there for 5 to 7 days.

“More than 325 people showed up Monday night for an impromptu healing and prayer service,” Flynn said. “There were members of the Brazilian Church, fishermen, people associated with Father Mike through the Destin Week of Blessings, and members of all his past and present congregations.”

Father Mike has been one of the most read columnists on the Faith page of the Destin Log for several years. He is a true friend to the fishermen and is one of the most beloved pastors in Destin. He participates in many community projects, including the Destin Week of Blessings and Blessing of the Fleet.

Flynn said that at this time, the prayers of the community for Father Mike, his family, and his church congregation, would be greatly appreciated.


Father Mike graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and served for three years as an assistant at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Tallahassee, and in 1976 he answered a call to plant a congregation in Pensacola. After 15 years in Pensacola, Father Mike received a call to Destin.

Father Mike is married to his high school sweetheart, Claudia, and they enjoy spending time with their children and grandchildren. Father Mike is a charismatic evangelical who enjoys preaching and teaching. His hobbies include reading, scuba diving, fishing and boating.