The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America consists of 65 synods which are configured into nine regions. Each synod elects a bishop to oversee the administration of the synod and its staff.
The Rev. H. Jeffrey A. Clements, Rockford, was elected June 18 to serve a six-year term as the third bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod. The election was held during the Synod Assembly June 16-18 at Centennial Hall at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.
Clements was elected on the fifth ballot with 278 votes to 181 votes for the Rev. Stacie R. Fidlar, pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Rock Island.
“I have never yet served a call in this church that I would have anticipated or sought. Yet, each time the Holy Spirit has spoken through the church, I have been challenged and happy,” said Clements. “The same is true today. I am honored and humbled to receive this call and will gladly serve the Northern Illinois Synod in a time of great transition in the church.”
Clements has served as assistant to the bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod since 2002.
He was pastor of First Lutheran Church in Prophetstown, IL., from 1990 to 2002.
Clements earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1977 and a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1983. Luther is one of the ELCA’s eight seminaries.
The Rev. Gary M. Wollersheim, bishop-emeritus of the Northern Illinois Synod, served three six-year terms and retired Aug. 31, 2016.
Clements was installed as bishop Saturday, Sept. 24, at First Lutheran Church in Rockford.