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The Rev. Virginia Aebischer is elected Bishop of the ELCA South Carolina Synod


COLUMBIA, SC Saturday, July 25, 2020 – The Rev. Virginia Aebischer was elected July 25 to serve a six-year term as bishop of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The election took place during the synod assembly, held July 25 online.

The Rev. Virginia Aebischer was elected on the fifth ballot, with 280 votes. The Rev. Jacqueline Utley, received 211 votes.

The Rev. Virginia Aebischer has most recently served as Assistant to the Bishop with Bishop Herman Yoos.  Bishop-Elect Aebischer graduated from Upsala College in 1983. Upsala College was a Lutheran college in East Orange, New Jersey. She received her M. Div from The Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, located here in Columbia in 1989. She was ordained on September 17, 1989 after receiving a call to Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Charleston, South Carolina.

Bishop-Elect Aebischer will succeed The Rev. Dr. Herman Yoos and will take office on September 1, 2020 with an Installation service happening on October 4, 2020. Details are still being worked on as the pandemic continues.

The bishop serves as the synod’s pastor and is called to administer sacraments, preach, provide pastoral care, advise, ordain, advocate, interpret, and serve as the ecumenical officer.

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About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

The ELCA is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with nearly 3.6 million members in more than 9,200 worshipping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. The ELCA emphasizes the saving grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, unity among Christians and service in the world. The ELCA’s roots are in the writings of the German church reformer Martin Luther.

About the South Carolina Synod:

The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has nearly 52,000 members worshipping in 150 congregations across the state of South Carolina. We Lutherans in South Carolina are part of a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace — and there’s room for all here. We seek to respond to God’s love by loving him and serving the people he has created not only in the state of South Carolina, but in many parts of the globe.

For information contact:

Neal F. Fischer

Director of Communications

803-509-8325 or 607-349-8072

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Contact Information

ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Telephone 803-765-0590
Fax 803-252-5558

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