By Candice Hill Buchbinder, ELCA News
The Rev. Kristen E.M. Kuempel, Kennewick, Wash., was elected May 20 to a six-year term as bishop of the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 19-21 at the Doubletree–Spokane City Center in Spokane.
Kuempel was elected on the fourth ballot with 133 votes to 111 votes for the Rev. Michael B. Sager, pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Eagle, Idaho. A total of 123 votes was needed for election.
Kuempel has served as lead pastor of First Lutheran Church in Kennewick since 2010.
The bishop-elect earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Washington State University in Cheney, Wash. In 1998. She received her Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 2002. Luther is one of eight ELCA seminaries.
The Rev. Martin D. Wells, current bishop of the ELCA Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod, has served three six-year terms and decided not to seek another term.
Kuempel will be installed as bishop on Saturday, Sept. 16.
Information about the Eastern Washington-Idaho Synod is available at ewaidsynod.org.
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