8/12/2016 5:05:00 PM
NEW ORLEANS – William B. Horne II of St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Clearwater, Fla., was elected vice president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) by the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
Horne was elected on the fourth ballot with 565 votes to 175 votes for Cheryl G. Stuart of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Tallahassee, Fla., and 161 votes for Becky Blue of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, S.D.
"First of all, thanks be to God," said Horne addressing the assembly following the election. "I really believe that his Spirit has been with us all of our assembly, and especially during the election process. I want to thank all of you for your discipline and your support."
The position of vice president is the highest a layperson can hold in the ELCA. Carlos Peña, the current vice president, has served for 13 years. Peña did not seek a third term.
"Brothers and sisters, I love this church. I love you. We have a lot of work to do, and I know that our dedication and our commitment to each other and our hard work will make the ELCA what God wants us to be. Thank you very much."
The assembly – the highest legislative authority of the ELCA – is meeting at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Meeting under the theme "Freed and Renewed in Christ: 500 Years of God's Grace in Action," the assembly's business will include preparations for observing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.
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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 3.7 million members in more than 9,300 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.