HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — The pastor of a tiny two-church parish in west-central Pennsylvania has been elected as bishop of the Allegheny Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
The Altoona Mirror (http://bit.ly/1mwDBT8 ) reports the Rev. Michael Rhyne was elected Saturday at the synod's annual convention held at the Blair County Convention Center.
The 39-year-old cleric has led the Geeseytown-Newry Lutheran Parish for the last five years.
A married father of three, Rhyne says he didn't expect to be elected bishop of a synod containing 116 churches in seven central Pennsylvania counties.
Rhyne will begin his six-year term when Bishop Gregory Pile retires in September.