By Candice Hill Buchbinder, ELCA News

The Rev. Erik Gronberg, Fort Worth, Texas, was elected April 23 to a six-year term as bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the synod assembly April 22-24 at the Sheraton Arlington Hotel in Arlington, Texas.

Gronberg was elected on the fifth and final ballot with 168 votes to 125 votes for the Rev. Jane Mar, bishop assistant for lifelong leadership formation of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this call from the people of Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana as they were guided by the Holy Spirit,” Gronberg said. “The Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area has a long history of focusing on leadership formation and mission, and I am excited to bring my experiences and passions to build upon that foundation.”

Gronberg has served as senior pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Fort Worth since 2010. He was senior pastor of Dr. Martin Luther Church in Oconomowoc, Wis., from 2005 to 2010.

“We live in an increasingly diverse and dynamic part of the country and, while that brings challenges, I believe we have great opportunity for mission and it is a very exciting time to be a Lutheran Christian,” Gronberg said.

The bishop-elect earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and public policy from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in 1999 and a master of divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 2005. Luther is one of eight ELCA seminaries. Currently, Gronberg is a doctoral candidate in leadership studies at Dallas Baptist University.

The Rev. Kevin Kanouse has served as bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Mission Area since 2000. He will retire June 30.

Gronberg will be installed as bishop at First Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth on Sept. 17 at 10am. The bishop-elect said during his ministry he has increasingly observed that “people are rejecting simplistic answers to deep questions of faith. In this time it is vital we form leaders in our local congregations who are focused on proclaiming Christ crucified and risen and who welcome questions, serve our neighbors and work for justice.”

Information about the Northern Texas- Northern Louisiana Mission Area is available at

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