Matthew Riegel elected bishop of ELCA West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod

6/11/2015 10:40:00 AM

​     CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Rev. Matthew L. Riegel, Morgantown, W.Va., was elected June 6 to a six-year term as bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the synod assembly June 5-6 at the Days Inn and Conference Center in Sutton, W.Va.
     Riegel was elected on the fourth and final ballot with 97 votes to 38 votes for the Rev. Sarah Lee-Faulkner, assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod.
     “Wittenberg University was midwife to the birth of the Lutheran Reformation. Leaving campus ministry, I hope to share that university ethos beyond the campus in continuance of the work begun 500 years ago,” Riegel said.
     Riegel has served as chaplain of Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University in Morgantown since 2000. He was pastor of Trinity-Mount Calvary Lutheran, a shared ministry in Westernport, Md., and Keyser, W.Va., from 1994 to 2000.
     The bishop-elect earned a bachelor’s degree in history from ELCA-related Gettysburg (Pa.) College in 1987. From the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.), Riegel earned a master of divinity degree in 1994 and a master of sacred theology degree in 2011. Gettysburg is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
     The Rev. Ralph W. Dunkin, current bishop of the West Virginia-Western Maryland Synod, has served three six-year terms and will retire this summer.
     Riegel will be installed as bishop Sept. 26 at Wesley Chapel of West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon.
     Information about the ELCA West Virginia-Western Maryland 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 3.8 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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