Bishop Jeffrey Clements

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 was elected on June 18, 2016 to serve a six-year term as the third bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod. His term of service as Bishop of the Synod began on September 1, 2016, and he was installed by the presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Elizabeth Eaton on September 24, 2016, at First Lutheran Church, Rockford.

Bishop Clements was born in Detroit, Michigan, where he lived until he was 14. His first three high school years were spent in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. He graduated from William Fremd High School in Palatine, Illinois. He was baptized at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Detroit and was confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax, Virginia.

Bishop Clements earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1977 and a Master of Divinity from Luther Northwestern Theological Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in St. Paul, Minn., in 1983. Luther is a seminary of the ELCA.

He was ordained August 7, 1983, and his first call was to serve as Pastor of St. John Lutheran Church, Massbach (rural Elizabeth), Illinois, beginning in 1983 until 1987. He then served as Associate Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Dixon, from 1987-1990, and as Pastor of First Lutheran Church, Prophetstown, from 1990-2002. Beginning in 2002, he was called to serve as Assistant to the Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod, a position which he held until 2016, when he was elected Bishop.

Bishop Clements married Paulette (nee Halvorson) on June 6, 1981. They have one son, Pastor Nathan (Emily Nelson) Clements of LaPorte City, Iowa.

Bishop Clements is an avid Cubs fan. He has been active in the Boy Scouts and received the Servant of Youth award in 1998. He and Paulette are members of First Lutheran Church, DeKalb.