Virginia Synod

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Virginia Synod
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Bittle Hall.JPG
Office of the Bishop, Bittle Hall
Country United States of America
Area 42,774 sq mi (110,780 km2)
Congregations 150
Denomination Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Established 1988 (lineage to 1820)
Cathedral Salem, VA
Current leadership
Bishop of the Virginia Synod Rev. James F. Mauney
Emeritus Bishops Rev. Richard F. Bansemer, Rev. Virgil (Buck) Moyer, Rev. J. Luther Mauney

The Virginia Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is the geographical synod (similar to a diocese) consisting of the entire state of Virginia, except for several counties and cities in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod.[1] The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was formed in 1988 and currently has over 9300 congregations and 3.5 million members in all 50 states.[2] 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.[3]

Lutheran Bishop James F. Mauney presides at the sacrament of Holy Communion during the Virginia Synod Assembly on 11 June 2016 at St. Andrews in Roanoke Virginia, USA

The offices of the Bishop are located in the historic Bittle Hall on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. The synod consists of 257 pastors serving 153 organized Congregations within 11 conferences. The oldest congregation in Virginia is Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison, Virginia which was founded in 1717. The newest congregation in Virginia is Grace and Glory Lutheran Church in Palmyra, Virginia which was founded in 2001. The synod partners with the Islands District of Papua New Guinea through the ELCA Companion Synod Program, and coordinates sustainable support for people in need of relief from malarial disease, hunger, and disaster.[4] Within the Commonwealth of Virginia, the synod works to find and feed hungry children and advocate for universal breakfast in the classroom following models such as School breakfast club and Oslo breakfast.[5]


The Bishop oversees the conferences of the synod and serves as the overall leader, mentor, and shepherd of ecclesiastical life throughout the synod.

Note: Prior to 1981, Bishops were known as "Presidents" of the synod, though their functions were similar to those of the Bishop today.


Conferences (lower judicatories) within the Virginia Synod include: [1]

Each conference is headed by a Dean. Each Dean is a member of the Office of the Bishop and serves as the representative of the Bishop to the conference.[6]

History of the Virginia Synod[edit]

Camps and retreat centers[edit]

The Virginia Synod runs two retreat centers:

See also[edit]


External links[edit]