Strickland to Lead ELCA Southeastern Synod
September 30, 2019
NEWBERRY — The Rev. Kevin L. Strickland ’04 will soon take office as the fourth bishop of the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The synod, which serves congregations in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, elected Strickland June 2 to a six-year term. He will be formally installed as bishop at a service Oct. 5 at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta.
“The Southeastern Synod is one of the most geographically spread synods within the ELCA,” said Strickland. “Where that geography can be an impediment, I look forward to finding ways to engage technology better and partner with others in spreading the gospel.”
The Lexington native graduated with honors from Newberry College in 2004 with a bachelor’s in religion and philosophy, and a minor in history. He went on to attend Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, earning his Master of Divinity in 2008.
“Newberry College was pivotal for me in discerning my call to ministry, but also equipping me with the gifts to faithfully take the next steps to pursue my call as a pastor in this church,” Strickland said. “One of the many gifts Newberry College gave me was the ability to thoughtfully question how my faith shapes my life and how I can help shape the lives of others.
“I will forever be grateful for these experiences and the many individuals who invested in me. I pray that I too can do the same for someone else,” he added.
Strickland served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Maryville, Tennessee, from 2008 to 2011, and of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Nashville from 2011 to 2014. Strickland also served as assistant to the presiding bishop and executive for worship with the nationwide church organization in Chicago from 2014 until his election.
“As I walk into this term as bishop, I do so knowing that our church has much work to do in becoming more authentically diverse, casting vision for its future, and continuing to find ways to spread the message of God’s grace to a world so in need of hearing it,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing where God will continue to guide us, call us, and shake us up as a denomination, and for me as the bishop of the Southeastern Synod.”