Wells Elected Bishop of ELCA Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod

6/8/1999 12:00:00 AM

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- The Rev. Martin D. Wells, 50, was elected bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on June 5.  He received 234 votes to 102 for the Rev. Mark J. Nelson, 45, on the fourth ballot during the synod's assembly in Spokane, Wash.
     Wells will succeed the Rev. Robert M. Keller, 65, on Oct. 1. Keller, who has served as the synod's bishop since the formation of the ELCA in 1988, plans to retire.
     Nelson has served as Keller's assistant since 1991.  The Rev. Neal G. Buckaloo, deployed staff for the ELCA Division for Ministry and Department for Synodical Relations, Veradale, Wash., and the Rev. Kathryn B. LePard, Emanuel Lutheran Church, Ritzville, Wash., were also considered on the assembly's third ballot for bishop.  There were nine names on the nominating ballot.
     Born in Greeley, Colo., Wells graduated from the University of Denver.  He earned a law degree from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Wash.
     After studies at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, Calif., Wells and his wife, the Rev. Susan R. Briehl, were ordained in 1981.  The couple served as pastors of Our Saviour's Lutheran Church, Bellingham, Wash., campus pastors at Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, and directors of Holden Village, Lake Chelan, Wash.  They are the parents of two daughters.
     The ELCA Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod includes about 41,500 Lutherans in 111 congregations across Idaho and 20 counties in eastern Washington.  The synod office is in Spokane.

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John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG


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