The election for the next South Dakota Synod Bishop will be at the 2019 Synod Assembly on May 31-June 1, 2019 at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD. To help prepare the synod for this election, resources and FAQs will be posted here regularly.
Names Lifted Up at Conference Assemblies
During the months of February and March, each conference of the South Dakota Synod met to discuss and discern the next Bishop of the South Dakota Synod. Names were lifted up at each conference assembly and turned into the Bishop Election Committee. The Bishop Election committee gave each person time to fill out biographical information and other forms for the bishop election process. During that process, fifteen names were identified. Names lifted up by conference assemblies are not nominated until his or her name is placed on the first ballot of the Synod Assembly on Friday, May 31.
The completed information turned in came from the following Ministers of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA:
- The Rev. Heidi Binstock – WestSide Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD
- The Rev. Randy Fett – St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church, Cannon Falls, MN
- The Rev. Randall E. Gehring – Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD
- The Rev. Scott Hackler – Brandon Lutheran Church/Split Rock Lutheran Church, Brandon, SD
- The Rev. Constanze Hagmaier – Trinity Lutheran Church, Madison, SD
- The Rev. Lorna H. Halaas – Director of Missional Leadership – Assistant to the Bishop, Western Iowa Synod
- The Rev. Dr. Ramona Hayes – Evangelical Lutheran Church, Langford, SD
- The Rev. Erika (Schmutterer) Lehmann – St. John Lutheran Church, Dimock, SD
- The Rev. Thomas E. Opoien – Trinity Lutheran Church, Tea, SD
- The Rev. Jeffrey Michael Otterman – Trinity Lutheran Church, Yankton, SD
- The Rev. Rick Senner – Bethany Lutheran Church, Howard SD
- The Rev. Dwight Stensgaard – Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD
- The Rev. Bill Tesch – Director for Evangelical Mission/Associate to the Bishop, South Dakota Synod
- The Rev. Jonathan Vehar – Peace Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD
- The Rev. Herb Wounded Head III – University Lutheran Center, Brookings, SD
Biographical information may be downloaded by clicking the link below. This information will be available until May 30, 2019.
Invitation for Questions
If there has been no election of a new bishop in the first three ballots, then prior to the fourth ballot the three persons (plus ties) who received the greatest number of votes will be invited to participate in a question-and-answer period. The same five or six questions will be asked of each nominee.
You are invited to use this space to suggest a question to be asked of the nominees. Suggested questions may be submitted through May 26. The Bishop Election committee will then review the submitted questions and select the questions to be asked.