CHICAGO – Louise N. Johnson, a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), has been elected by the ELCA Church Council as the executive for administration, a position that is coterminous with the term of the presiding bishop. She begins in this role on March 15, 2021.
Johnson most recently served as the Director of Leadership Development for LEAD, a leadership development non-profit of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the ELCA. Prior to her work with LEAD, she served as the fourteenth president of Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa where she led the seminary to its largest fundraising and enrollment years in the history of the school. Johnson has also held several senior level roles at Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and has served congregations in a variety of roles in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and Pennsylvania.
“We are blessed to have Louise’s strong sense of call and passion for the work of sharing God’s grace and love in Christ,” said the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop. “As we imagine each of us being activated so more people know the way of Jesus and discover community, justice and love, Louise’s dedication to leadership sharing the good news will be vital in our work going forward.”
Johnson has spent much of her time in the ELCA focused on leadership development. During her years in Philadelphia, she cultivated an interest in organizational leadership, including completing the Certificate in Leadership and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Johnson continues to teach, speak and consult in change leadership in church organizations.
“I am humbled to be called to this role. I look forward to the work we will do together by the power of the Holy Spirit to become more fully the church God is calling us to be for the sake of the world,” said Johnson.
Johnson attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio for her undergraduate degree, and holds a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Seminary. In 2017, Johnson received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Wartburg College in Waverly, IA, and in 2020, she received the Outstanding Executive Award from the Association of Lutheran Development Executives.
The current Executive for Administration, the Rev. Dr. M. Wyvetta Bullock, has served in this role since 2007. She has served the ELCA since 1987, and prior to that, served the LCA beginning in 1981.
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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 3.3 million members in more than 8,900 worshiping communities across the 50 states and in the Caribbean region. Known as the church of “God’s work. Our hands.,” 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.
For information contact:
Candice Hill Buchbinder