This undated image provided by ReconcilingWorks shows Dr. Guy Erwin, a premier scholar on Martin Luther, who was elected as Lutheran Bishop Saturday June 1, 2013 in Los Angeles. Erwin is Bishop of the Southwest California Synod of the Evangelical Church in America (ELCA).Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
LOS ANGELES — The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has elected its first openly gay bishop.
In a press release, church officials say Rev. R. Guy Erwin was selected for a six-year term Friday at a church annual assembly.
The church’s rules changed in 2009 to allow gays and lesbians to be ordained in the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination.
Erwin currently serves as a pastor at Faith Lutheran Church and a professor of Lutheran Confessional Theology at California Lutheran University.
Officials say the “partnered gay man” is also the first Native American to be elected. Erwin is part Osage Indian.