PITTSBURGH (ELCA) – The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected Aug. 14 presiding bishop of the ELCA at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. She was elected on the fifth ballot. There were 889 votes cast, and 445 votes were needed for an election. Eaton received 600 votes and the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, received 287. Eaton is the ELCA’s first woman presiding bishop-elect.
The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 12-17 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The theme for the triennial assembly is “Always being made new.” This year marks the 25th anniversary of this church.
“We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic. We need to welcome the gifts of those who come from different places, that is a conversation we need to have as a church,” Eaton told the assembly shortly after the election.
Prior to becoming synod bishop, Eaton served as pastor for ELCA congregations in Ohio. She earned a Master’s of divinity degree from