By Candice Hill Buchbinder, ELCA News

The Rev. Pedro Manuel Suarez, Pompano Beach, Fla., was elected Oct. 13 to a six-year term as bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election was held during the Synod Assembly Oct. 12-14 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Kissimmee, Fla.

Suarez was elected on the sixth ballot with 334 votes to 125 votes for the Rev. Thomas Slater, pastor of Christus Victor in Naples, Fla. A total of 230 votes was needed for election.

The bishop-elect has served as lead pastor of St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Pompano Beach since 2015. He served as the director for Evangelical Mission for the ELCA Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod from 2011 to 2015 and as associate pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis., from 2002 to 2011.

Suarez earned a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1992. The seminary is one of seven ELCA seminaries.

He will be installed as bishop on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in New Tampa, Fla.

Information about the ELCA Florida-Bahamas Synod is available at

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