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LTSS and ELCA welcomes new Bishop
LTSS and ELCA welcomes new Bishop

Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The LTSS is one of eight seminary institutions of the ELCA, which welcomed The Reverend Dr. Timothy M. Smith as its new Bishop in September 2015.


DATE: September 4, 2015

CONTACT: Robert H. Shoffner, NC Synod Communications Coordinator



Timothy Smith to be installed as Lutheran bishop

SALISBURY – The Rev. Timothy M. Smith will be installed as bishop of the North Carolina Synod – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on Saturday, September 12, 4 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, Charlotte. Presiding Bishop Elizabeth A. Eaton of the ELCA will preside over the installation. During the service the bishop's cross will be presented to Smith by the synod's former bishop, the Rev. Dr. Leonard H. Bolick.

Smith was elected to a six-year term as bishop of the synod during the Synod Assembly May 28-30 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. At the time Smith was serving as senior pastor of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, Atlanta, Ga. He had previously served as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Boone, N.C., from 1993 to 2010, and pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church – Startown in Newton, N.C., from 1986 to 1993.

Smith earned a bachelor's degree in religion in 1982 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (Pa.), in 1986. Smith earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University Theological School in Madison, N.J., in 1992.

Upon his election Smith told the Synod Assembly, "I am much more a pastor than administrator. I believe my natural sense of calling and nurturing personality are also balanced by my having served in a variety of parish settings—rural/small town, university/resort town, and large city. One of my biggest gifts on spiritual gift inventories is the gift of faith."

Special music at Bishop Smith's installation will be offered by the A Cappella Choir and College Singers of Hickory, N.C. The choir will be performing Vaughan Williams' "Let All the World in Every Corner Sing" and Weber's powerful setting of "A Mighty Fortress" as part of the prelude at 3:30 p.m., and will join with a massed choir for several selections with orchestra. The choir will also sing Weber's setting of "Psalm 16" with the new bishop's son and choir alumnus, the Reverend Matthew Smith '08, serving as cantor.

In addition to Presiding Bishop Eaton, bishops from the A.M.E. Zion church, the Episcopal Church, USA, and the Moravian Church in America, along with the bishops of the Virginia, South Carolina, Southeastern, Florida-Bahamas, and Caribbean Synods of the ELCA, and the NC Council of Churches will participate in the service. More than ten other ecumenical church leaders will attend the service.

In Smith's first message to the synod after he assumed the office of bishop, he reflected on one's feelings of inadequacy in accepting such a call. He also said to the synod, "I trust your discernment and ask for your patience, your prayers, and your support as we move forward together as the NC Synod."

The North Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America consists of over 200 congregations across the state. It is one of 65 synods of the ELCA which has nearly 10,000 congregations. Synod offices are at 1988 Lutheran Synod Dr., Salisbury, NC, 28144. To learn more, see www.nclutheran.org or www.ELCA.org online.

About Bishop Smith



Date/Place of Birth: January 20, 1960; Lenoir, North Carolina. Parents: Dr. Marcus C. Smith and Dorothy (Walker) Smith. Grandson of the Rev. James Ernest Walker.

Spouse/Marriage Date: Wendy (Weisner) Smith; December 18, 1983 in Roanoke Rapids, N.C.; teacher for 20 years in middle school science in N.C.; middle school science teacher, 2012-2015, at St. Joseph Catholic School, Marietta, Georgia; currently, teacher at W. Rowan Middle, Rowan Co., N.C.

Children: Pastor Matthew Marcus Smith, pastor of Holly Grove Lutheran Church, Lexington, N.C. and his wife, Dr. Keri Smith; Isaac David Smith, fourth-year medical student, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Ruth Anna Smith, teaching assistant special education, Hendersonville, N.C. and her husband, Tommy Ransdell.

Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Arts with Honors in Religion, 1982; Gettysburg Seminary, M.Div. 1986; Lutheran Church in America Overseas Internship, 1984-1985, American Church in Berlin, West Berlin, Germany; Drew University, DMin (Environmental Stewardship Preaching), 1992.

Ordination: 1986 by North Carolina Synod.

Calls in ministry: Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church-ELCA, Startown, N.C., 1986-93; Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church-ELCA, Boone, N.C., 1993-2010 and Campus Pastor, Appalachian State University, 1993-2000; Sr. Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer-ELCA, Atlanta, Georgia, 2010-2015; Bishop of the NC Lutheran Synod-ELCA, August 1, 2015 - present.

Other: President, Catawba Valley Lutheran Ministerial Association; President, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry and Board, Head Start Program; Secretary, Western Piedmont Conference-NC Synod; Chair, NC Synod Youth Ministry Committee; Board, Lutheran Services for the Aging in North Carolina, and Chair, Finance Committee; Chair, NC Synod Evangelism Committee; Board, Vice President, "Hospitality House" in Boone; supervisor for 22 seminary interns; High Country Coalition of Churches and Watauga County Ministerial Association; Committee for Eco-Justice; Chaplain, Germany English Ministry, Wittenberg, summers, 2000 and 2007; Lutheridge Music Week Chaplain, 5 years; Lenoir- Rhyne Board of Trustees, 2010-present; member, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary provost search committee, 2012.

Additional: Recipient of Eli Lily Foundation Clergy sabbatical grant to work with missionaries in Tanzania, summer 2008; featured preacher since 2010 on "Day 1" (formerly "The Protestant Hour") radio show; author of article for Austin Seminary Theological Review, spring 2009; contributor to Augsburg Fortress' Sundays and Seasons Preaching, Year B, 2015; leader of numerous tours of Germany as well as one to Egypt and the Holy Land; guest preacher at numerous preaching missions, homecomings, ordinations.

August 1, 2015