The Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt, Bishop
Central States Synod, ELCA
In June 2001, the Synod Assembly of Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Gerald L. Mansholt to serve as bishop. He was elected to a second, six-year term at the Synod Assembly in 2007.
Before being elected synod bishop, he had served as pastor of two Oklahoma congregations: First Lutheran Church, Chickasha; and Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, Chickasha. His first pastorate in Central States Synod was Living Christ Lutheran Church, Florissant, Mo. At the time of his election as bishop he was serving as pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church, Wichita, Kan.
Born in Alton, Ill. on July 6, 1948, Mansholt grew up in Bunker Hill, Ill., and graduated from Concordia Senior College of Fort Wayne, Ind. in 1970 and from Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo., where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1974. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1989.
Being a strong advocate for the missional church movement, he has led in the transformation of the synod so that participation in God’s mission is at the heart of the synod’s life and work. Under his guidance, a new Purpose Statement and Missional Directions have been developed, and he is currently leading the Central States Synod in a comprehensive fund appeal: Changed by Love, Sent in Love, to Serve – Shaping the Church for God’s Mission.
Mansholt serves on the Board of Directors of Bethany College, Lindsborg, Kan. as well as the board of the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. He is a member of the Program Committee of the ELCA Vocation and Education Unit and a liaison bishop to the ELCA Church Council. He serves on ELCA Immigration Ready Bench and is a staunch supporter for comprehensive immigration reform. Mansholt also chairs the Steering Team of the Missouri Christian Leadership Forum.
Married to Anita, they are the parents of two daughters, Christa and Monica, both married, and grandparents to Sydney and Elliot Marie. Anita teaches mathematics at Notre Dame de Sion School in Kansas City, Mo.