Wilma Kucharek

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Wilma S. Kucharek
ChurchEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
SeeSlovak Zion Synod
In officeJune 22, 2002 - current
OrdinationJune 9, 1982
Personal details
Born (1954-09-19) September 19, 1954 (age 64)
Johnson City, New York
Styles of
Wilma Kucharek
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Right Reverend
Spoken styleBishop
Religious styleYour Grace
Posthumous stylenot applicable

Wilma S. Kucharek (born September 19, 1954) is bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod.

Kucharek was born in Johnson City, New York and baptized in the Slovak language at Ascension Lutheran in Binghamton, New York. She graduated from Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana, and earned her M.Div. and STM degrees at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Before her ordination as a pastor, (Sister) Kucharek was consecrated as a deaconess, serving parishes in Indiana and New York. She served as pastor of Holy Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, from 1982 to 1986; St. John Lutheran Church, St. Clair, Pennsylvania, from 1982 to 1986; and St. John Lutheran Church, Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, from 1983 to 1986. In 1986, she accepted the call to serve as pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Torrington, Connecticut.[citation needed]

Kucharek was elected to a 6-year term as bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on June 22, 2002,[1] succeeding Juan Čobrda, and re-elected to a second term on June 28, 2008 and a third term on November 17, 2014.[2][3] Kucharek is the first woman of Slovak descent to become a bishop and, as of 2016, is the longest serving female bishop currently serving in the ELCA.

Kucharek served on the board of the ELCA's Division for Global Mission for 5 years, and as its secretary from 2001 to 2002 when she resigned to accept a call as bishop.[4] In 2000 she was one of five women (and the only Lutheran) in a National Council of Churches Ecumenical Delegation of Women to North Korea.[5] Among other ex officio offices Kucharek holds, she is on the board of trustees of Muhlenberg College.[6]

Kucharek is married to Thomas J. Drobena. Together, they have been co-pastors at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Torrington, Connecticut, since 1986. She and Drobena are co-authors of the book "Heritage of the Slavs," and translators of "Evangelical Churches in Slovakia" as well as authoring numerous other works and articles. They are the parents of two sons: Thomas and Joshua.[7]


  1. ^ Wilma Kucharek elected bishop of ELCA Slovak Zion Synod
  2. ^ Kucharek re-elected bishop of the ELCA Slovak Zion Synod
  3. ^ "Bishop Kucharek Re-elected | SlovakZionSynod.org". Retrieved 2017-01-30.
  4. ^ Report of the Division for Global Mission
  5. ^ NCC Sends Ecumenical Delegation of Women to North Korea
  6. ^ Muhlenberg College Board of trustees
  7. ^ Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences News