2024 Bishop Election

The Rev. Bryan Penman Elected Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

The Rev. Bryan Penman, pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conshohocken and co-Director for Evangelical Mission in the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, was elected Saturday as the synod’s next bishop.

Bishop-elect Penman received 203 votes on the fifth and final ballot for bishop. The Rev. Karl Richard, pastor of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Springfield and synod Secretary, received 122 votes.

Final election votes are announced

Remarks from Bishop-elect Penman


Candidate Forums

Prior to the fifth ballot:

Prior to the fourth ballot:

Prior to the third ballot:


Pastors Penman, Richard proceed to Fifth Ballot

The results of the fourth ballot for bishop are in. The Rev. Bryan Penman and the Rev. Karl Richard will give presentations at approximately 3:55 p.m.

Election Proceeds to Fourth Ballot

The Reverends Bryan Penman, Karl Richard, and Serena Sellers will be on the fourth ballot for bishop shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday.
Results of the third ballot:

A sampling of the candidates’ answers during the Q&A prior to the fourth ballot:

 “When the last bishop was elected did she know what was going to happen in the next six years?” – Rev. Serena Sellers

“What I do know is God has equipped YOU and YOU will do great things.” – Rev. Bryan Penman

 “The challenge will be to not be the last one to turn off the lights…we have a message the world needs but maybe doesn’t know it needs.” – Rev. Karl Richard

Some highlights from the candidates’ presentations prior to the third ballot

The Rev. Bryan Penman, St Marks, Conshohocken

            “I think our sacred task, for us right now, is to continue to lead the way in what it means to be church in the 21stcentury.”

The Rev. Karl Richard, St. Matthew, Springfield

            “If we truly engage in this relationship work with the Holy Spirit and with each other, the report of the death of the church will certainly be an exaggeration.”

The Rev. Serena Sellers, Christ, Kulpsville

            “I have hope for our church because we are paying attention to the communities around us who are lonely.”


Third Ballot Saturday

On Saturday morning, May 4, the assembly will hear presentations from seven candidates for the office of Bishop prior to the third ballot. The seven candidates receiving the most votes on the second ballot are:

The Rev Julie DeWerth


The Rev. John T. Heidgerd


The Rev. Noah Hepler


The Rev. Bryan Penman


The Rev. Karl M. Richard


The Rev. Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath


The Rev. Serena Sellers


Second Ballot for Bishop

The top seven candidates (and ties) from this ballot proceed to the third ballot on Saturday.

Report of the Second Ballot for Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
Number of Ballots cast: 353
Total number of votes acquired for election: 265
Names listed with vote totals in descending order of totals.
The Rev. Bryan Penman137
The Rev. Karl Richard66
The Rev. Heidi Rodrick Schnaath30
The Rev. Julie DeWerth26
The Rev. Serena Sellers24
The Rev. John Heidgerd22
The Rev. Noah Hepler10
The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey7
The Rev. Sarah Anderson-Rajarigam6
The Rev. Wayne Shelor5
The Rev. Julius Carroll4
The Rev. Larry Hand4
The Rev. Wilmus Roger Randolph, III3
The Rev. Joey Klinger2
The Rev. Leslie Richard2
The Rev. Lamont Wells2
The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson2
The Rev. Mark Wimmer1
The Rev. Connie Mentzer0

First Ballot for Bishop

Report of the First Ballot for Bishop of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod
Number of votes cast: 356
Number of legal votes cast: 303
Number of votes needed for election on this ballot (75%): 228
The Rev. Bryan Penman – 76 votes
The Rev. Karl Richard - 34 votes
The Rev. Heidi Rodrick Schnaath – 30 votes
The Rev. John Heidgerd – 20 votes
The Rev. Moses Suah-Dennis – 11 votes
The Rev. Julie DeWerth – 11 votes
The Rev. Barbara Berry-Bailey – 6 votes
The Rev. Serena Sellers – 6 votes
The Rev. Erika Wesch – 6 votes
The Rev. Patricia Davenport – 5 votes
The Rev. Chris Franz – 5 votes
The Rev. Noah Hepler – 5 votes
The Rev. Joey Klinger – 5 votes
The Rev. Leslie Richard – 5 votes
The Rev. Wayne Shelor – 5 votes
The Rev. Julius Carroll – 4 votes
The Rev. Mukesh Cheedie – 4 votes
The Rev. Nathan Krause – 4 votes
The Rev. Jennifer Casey – 3 votes
The Rev. Charles Leonard – 3 votes
The Rev. Carlton Rodgers –3 votes
The Rev. Keith Anderson – 2 votes
The Rev. Sarah Anderson-Rajarigam - 2 votes
The Rev. Marcia Bell – 2 votes
The Rev. Jesse Brown – 2 votes
The Rev. Timothy Johansen – 2 votes
The Rev. Gwendolyn King – 2 votes
The Rev. Stacy Kyle-Rea – 2 votes
The Wilmus Roger Randolph, III -2 votes
The Rev. Wiliam Mueller – 2 votes
The Rev. Janet Peterman – 2 votes
The Rev. Rebecca Schanely – 2 votes
The Rev. Karen Sease – 2 votes
The Rev. Mark Wimmer – 2 votes
The Rev. Jason Churchill – 1 vote
The Rev. Ghislaine Cotnoir – 1 vote
The Rev. Guy Erwin – 1 vote
The Rev. Bob Fisher – 1 vote
The Rev. Fritz Fowler – 1 vote
The Rev. Alina Gayeuski – 1 vote
The Rev. Jim Goodyear – 1 vote
The Rev. Owen Griffith – 1 vote
The Rev. Larry Hand – 1 vote
The Rev. David Heckler – 1 vote
The Rev. Louise Johnson – 1 vote
The Rev. Axel Kaegler- 1 vote
The Rev. Phil Krey – 1 vote
The Rev. Violet Little – 1 vote
The Rev. Dayle Malloy – 1 vote
The Rev. Jane Marston – 1 vote
The Rev. Connie Mentzer – 1 vote
The Rev. Christian McMullen – 1 vote
The Rev. Tricia Neale – 1 vote
The Rev. Paul Neff – 1 vote
The Rev. Nelson Rivera – 1 vote
The Rev. Stina Schaeller – 1 vote
The Rev. Matthew Staniz – 1 vote
The Rev. Lamont Wells – 1vote
The Rev. Donna Wright – 1 vote
The Rev. Carla Christopher Wilson - 1 vote