Pastor Patricia A. Davenport Elected Bishop

Pastor Patricia A. Davenport was elected the next Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Saturday, May 5, at Franconia Mennonite Church.

Pastor Davenport is the first African-descent woman to be elected a bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She was elected on the fourth ballot with 377 votes. The Rev. Julie DeWerth received 89 votes and the Rev. Carlton Rodgers, 58.

Video greeting from the bishop-elect:

Video of the election announcement and remarks by the bishop-elect:

Continue reading “Pastor Patricia A. Davenport Elected Bishop”

Three Nominees Move to Fourth Ballot

Pastors Patricia A. Davenport, Julie K. DeWerth, and Carlton E. Rodgers will be on the fourth ballot for bishop at the 2018 Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod Assembly May 5 at Franconia Mennonite Church.

These three nominees will address the Assembly after lunch.


‘We’ve got work to do’

In a powerful sermon at the 2018 SEPA Synod Assembly opening worship, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Secretary Wm. Chris Boerger urged Lutherans to engage their communities and make change for the sake of the gospel.

Watch below:

Third Ballot Nominees

Seven nominees will address the SEPA Synod Assembly Saturday morning (May 5) at 9 am prior to the third ballot for bishop.

Advancing to the third ballot are:

Patricia A. Davenport 153 votes
Karl M. Richard 56
Carlton Rodgers 42
Julie Dewerth 41
Serena S. Sellers 32
Charles Leonard 30
William A. Vanderslice 30

The nominee forum and voting will be broadcast live at and the Synod YouTube channel.

Biographical Information

The nominees’ submitted biographical information forms can be viewed below in alphabetical order:

Pastor Patricia A. Davenport

Biographical Information Form



Pastor Julie K. DeWerth

Biographical Information Form



Pastor Charles R. Leonard

Biographical Information Form



Pastor Karl M. Richard

Biographical Information Form



Pastor Carlton E. Rodgers

Biographical Information Form



Pastor Serena S. Sellers

Biographical Information Form



Pastor William A. Vanderslice

Biographical Information Form

Second Ballot for Bishop

The following individuals were on the Second Ballot conducted this afternoon. Results of the ballot will be announced this evening around 8:15 pm (times are approximate).

Patricia A. Davenport
Karl M. Richard
Carlton Rodgers
Serena S. Sellers
Bradley Burke
Charles Leonard
William A. Vanderslice
Julie Dewerth
Lamont Wells
Paul Baglyos
Carolann Hopcke
Arlene K. Greenwald
Paul E. Lutz
Karl Krueger
David Lose
David A. Genszler
Asha M. George-Guiser
Robert H. Linders
Robert E. Mitman
Andreas Wagner
Timothy Taylor
Jim Echols
Stewart Luce
Brett Wilson Davis
Erik Reimer
John Spangler
Lura Groen
Wayne Shelor
Dolores Littleton

View the Assembly Livestream to watch results.

A Heartfelt Farewell from Bishop Burkat

The Assembly elects a pastor, and the Church raises a bishop, and outgoing Bishop Claire S. Burkat thanked the synod staff and leadership, fellow members of the Conference of Bishops, and a matrix of ecumenical, inter-faith and international friends and partners for their support, mentoring and prayer during her 12 years in office.

Watch the video:

Download Synod Assembly App

We will be distributing reports and documents for the 2018 Synod Assembly via an app that you can load onto your smartphone or tablet. The app is available for Android and iOS devices. Click the button or follow these instructions:
  1. Visit the app store for your device.
  2. Search for “ELCA Organizations and Events”.
  3. Install the app.
  4. Open the app and tap “Passphrase”.
  5. Enter the passphrase sepa2018
  6. Tap to download the guide.
  7. Please allow the app to send you notifications.
  8. Remember to refresh your app (tap the circular arrow icon highlighted below) before coming to Assembly.
Availability of wi-fi is limited at Franconia Mennonite Church. Please download materials in advance of the Assembly to avoid disappointment.