Transgender Bishop Elected by Evangelical Lutheran Church

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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has elected the Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer of San Francisco, California—who was born female but today identifies as male—to serve as bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod.

In doing so, the ELCA has become the first mainline Protestant denomination to elect a transgender bishop, as multiple outlets noted.

Rohrer was approved for the new position by 209 votes, surpassing the Rev. Jeff Johnson, pastor of University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley, by just two votes, as a press release from the denomination made clear.

As the news release also indicated of Rohrer, “The bishop-elect has served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco since 2014 and as community chaplain coordinator for the San Francisco Police Department since 2018. [Rohrer] served as executive director of the Welcome Ministry in San Francisco from 2002 to 2014, assistant night minister for the San Francisco Night Ministry from 2013 to 2018, and community garden coordinator at Project Homeless Connect from 2010 to 2012. Rohrer also served as pastor of a multi-parish call, serving the homeless and hungry at Welcome Ministry from 2006 to 2014.”

Related: Pastor Jentezen Franklin: ‘Change Your Words, Change Your Life’

Further on the bishop-elect: “Rohrer received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Augustana University in Sioux Fall, S.D., in 2001, a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley in 2005, and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 2017. Rohrer is currently a doctoral candidate in transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. Augustana is one of 26 ELCA colleges and universities.”

Rohrer will be installed in the new position this September.

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—By CNJ Staff

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