Rev. Steven Delzer elected bishop of Southeastern Minnesota Synod Assembly

Rev. Steven Delzer, bishop-elect of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod, addresses the assembly. Photo by Karen Surprenant. Click on image to download a high-resolution version.

ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Rev. Steven Delzer, Faribault, Minn., was elected June 8 to a six-year term as bishop of the Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Delzer was elected on the fifth ballot during the synod assembly June 7-8 in Rochester, Minn.

“I have deep trust that the Spirit will be with us as we walk through the doors that God opens for us,” said Delzer upon the announcement of his election.

Delzer was elected on the fifth ballot with 310 votes. Rev. Vernon Christopherson received 171 votes. Rev. Sarah Nietz and Rev. Glenn Monson were also on the fourth ballot with 73 and 68 votes, respectively. Delzer received to 232 votes on the fourth ballot and Christopherson received 135 votes.

Rev. Steven Delzer and his wife Donita. Photo by Karen Surprenant. Click on image to download a high-resolution version.

Delzer is currently the lead pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Faribault, Minn., where he has served since 2002. He previously served as an interim pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, West Union, Iowa (2000-2001) and First Lutheran Church, Albert Lea, Minn. (2001-2001). Prior to 2000, he served congregations in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The bishop-elect receive a Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo., in 1975; a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Ind., in 1971, and an Associate of Arts degree from Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn., in 1969.

Delzer will be installed on September 7, 2013. He and his wife Donita live in Faribault, Minn.

Information about the Southeastern Minnesota Synod is available at

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands,” the ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer, Martin Luther.

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About the Southeastern Minnesota Synod:

The Southeastern Minnesota Synod, ELCA, is a faith community of over 125,000 baptized people in 175 congregations throughout the 15 counties of southeastern Minnesota. The Southeastern Minnesota Synod is one of 65 synods that make up the ELCA.

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