Lutherans to elect a new bishop this weekend in South Dakota

 In Synod News


SIOUX FALLS, SD – May 30, 2019 – Over 500 voting members of the South Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America will gather this weekend at the synod assembly on Friday and Saturday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls, SD to pray, discern and elect a new bishop for the South Dakota Synod.

The office of bishop is open to any minister of Word and Sacrament on the roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). That person may serve two consecutive six year terms. The current bishop, Rev. David B. Zellmer, has served two full terms and thus is not eligible for re-election.

On Friday evening, the synod will honor Bishop Zellmer’s 12 years of ministry as its bishop. Bishops from the Western North Dakota, Southwest Minnesota, and Minneapolis Area Synods will be present to share remarks about Bishop Zellmer.

Electing a bishop is one of the most important responsibilities in the life of the synod and a key responsibility of the Synod Assembly. The South Dakota Synod is comprised of 205 congregations across the state of South Dakota with over 100,000 members. The bishop serves as the synod’s pastor and is called to administer sacraments, preach, provide pastoral care, advise, ordain, advocate, interpret, and serve as the ecumenical officer.

The South Dakota Synod uses an ecclesiastical election process. Candidates for bishop will be nominated on the first ballot. In February, fifteen names were pre-identified for bishop by conference assemblies.

More information and a schedule can be found online at

Livestream the Assembly starting with the First Plenary Session on YouTube.

About the South Dakota Synod

The South Dakota Synod is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) For more information, visit


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