Bishop Election

The Rev. Joy Mortensen-Wiebe Elected Bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin-ELCA

Madison, WI (August 29, 2020) – In an historic assembly, The Rev. Joy Mortensen-Wiebe was elected August 29 to serve a six-year term as the bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Mortensen-Wiebe was elected on the 3rd ballot with 166 votes. The Rev. Stacie Fidlar, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church Rock Island, IL received 165 votes.

While The Rev. Mortensen-Wieibe is not the first female to be elected bishop of this synod, the election is historic on another level.  This is the first time an election for this synod has taken place in which all the gathered were not assembled in person.  While normally held at a venue in Madison or the Wisconsin Dells, this year’s assembly due to the pandemic was held virtually via videoconference.  Over 350 voting members connected using Zoom and Lumi interactive technologies to elect new leadership of the synod and vote on important matters pertaining to the future of its ministry.

The bishop elect currently serves as pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church in Slinger, Wisconsin.  She formerly served the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin as interim Director for Evangelical Mission, and as pastor of Living Hope Lutheran Church in Saukville, Wisconsin. From 2004 to 2014, Bishop-Elect Mortensen-Weibe served as an Associate to the Bishop in the East Central Synod of Wisconsin.

The Rev. Joy Mortensen-Wiebe’s installation is set for October 11, 2020.

The Rev. Peter Rogness has served as interim bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin since September 2019.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations.  The South-Central Synod of Wisconsin is one of 65 synods in the ELCA and is made up of 138 congregations, worshipping communities and campus ministries in 12 counties in south-central Wisconsin.  It is a church deeply rooted in God’s grace and exists in partnership with the churchwide organization of the ELCA to assist congregations and members to worship God through Word and Sacrament and through lives of prayer and thanksgiving; to nurture one another in the Word of God and grow in faith and commitment to Jesus Christ; and to give our life joyfully in witness and service.  Visit us at

Read the official announcement from the ELCA here.

Watch Bishop-elect Mortensen-Wiebe’s Greetings to the Synod Assembly Following Election