June 10, 2014
14-36-JL*CHICAGO (ELCA) – The Rev. Michael L. Rhyne, East Freedom, Pa., was elected June 7 to a six-year term as bishop of the Allegheny Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) during the Synod Assembly June 5-7 at the Blair County Convention Center in Altoona, Pa. Rhyne was elected on the fifth ballot with 139 votes to 113 votes for the Rev. Lynn M. Miller, assistant to the bishop of the ELCA Allegheny Synod, based in Altoona. On this ballot, 252 votes were cast and 127 votes were needed for an election. Rhyne has been pastor of Geeseytown Lutheran Church in Hollidaysburg, Pa., and Newry Lutheran Church in Newry, Pa., since 2009. Rhyne earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in communication studies and drama from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., and a Master of Arts degree in acting from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In 2009, he earned a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., and was ordained in the same year at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Altoona. Prior to entering seminary, Rhyne was in theater and taught at Huntington College in Montgomery, Ala.; Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.; and at Troy University in Troy, Ala. Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries. Information about the ELCA Allegheny Synod is available at http://www.alleghenysynod.org.-- *Jeremy Lensing is an intern for ELCA Public Relations and a student at Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., majoring in multi-media mass communication and communication studies.