Greater Milwaukee Synod

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The Greater Milwaukee Synod is an incorporated geographic area of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States.

Not to be confused with other Lutheran bodies, in which the national expression is called a synod, in the ELCA, a synod is most similar to a diocese or conference in other mainline denominations.

The synod claims about 91,000 baptized members and 131 congregations in seven counties in southeastern Wisconsin. The current bishop is the Rev. Paul Erickson who succeeded past Bishop Jeff Barrow after he announced his retirement in 2016. Former Bishop Peter Rogness, who held the office since the ELCA was the first bishop of the synod elected in 1988. Bishop Rogness also lead the Saint Paul Area Synod in Minnesota until his retirement in 2014, the first time a bishop left one synod to be elected in another.

When the synod was formed, its original name was the Southeastern Wisconsin Synod. A few years later, the current name was adopted.

Synod offices are located in the Ascension Lutheran Church building on the near south side of Milwaukee. A professional staff of ten staff members assist the bishop in leading the synod.

The Greater Milwaukee Synod holds a Synod Assembly every year. The Greater Milwaukee Synod also has an active LYO, which it calls a SYLT (Synod Youth Leadership Team.)


  • Rev. Peter Rogness 1988-2002
  • Rev. Paul Stumme-Diers 2002-2009
  • Rev. Jeff Barrow 2009-2016
  • Rev. Paul Erickson 2016-present

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