Tracie Bartholomew Elected Bishop of ELCA New Jersey Synod

June 12, 2013

CHICAGO (ELCA) — The Rev. Tracie L. Bartholomew, Lawrenceville, N.J., was elected June 8 to a six-year term as bishop of the New Jersey Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Bartholomew was elected on the fifth ballot during the synod’s assembly June 6-8 in East Brunswick, N.J.

“I ask for prayers for me and for our congregations as we transition into this new chapter in our synod. I can’t wait to see what new adventures lie ahead,” said Bartholomew.

Bartholomew was elected with 232 votes to 204 votes for the Rev. Scott C. Schantzenbach, assistant to the bishop of the ELCA New Jersey Synod. The Rev. Michael C. Gebhart, pastor of St. Michael Lutheran in Cherry Hill, N.J., was also a nominee on the fourth ballot with 131 votes to 145 for Bartholomew and 160 for Schantzenbach.

Bartholomew has served as assistant to the bishop in the ELCA New Jersey Synod since 1998. She was pastor of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Ewing, N.J., from 1993 to 1998, pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Lexington Va., from 1991 to 1993, and associate pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Roanoke, Va., from 1989 to 1991.

The bishop-elect earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., in 1985, and a Master of Divinity degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 1989. The seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries.

Bartholomew will be installed Sept. 29. She is married to the Rev. Dan Whitener, who serves at Abiding Presence in Ewing, N.J. They have two children.

Information about the ELCA New Jersey Synod is available at


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