Elizabeth Eaton

Presiding Bishop
Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Elected 2013
Term ended Incumbent
Predecessor Mark S. Hanson
Other posts Bishop of Northeastern Ohio Synod
Ordination 1981
Personal details
Born April 2, 1955 (age 60)
Cleveland, Ohio
Denomination Lutheran
Spouse The Rev. T. Conrad Selnick
Children Rebeckah, Susannah
Alma mater Harvard Divinity School, College of Wooster

Elizabeth A. Eaton (born April 2, 1955) is the fourth Presiding Bishop (and the first woman to become Presiding Bishop)[1] of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She was elected on Wednesday, August 14, 2013, on the fifth ballot. She received 600 votes by the Churchwide Assembly, and the incumbent Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson received 287 votes.[2][3][4] She was installed as presiding bishop of the ELCA on October 5, 2013, at Rockefeller Chapel in Hyde Park (Chicago, IL).[5] Chicago is also the location of the ELCA headquarters. Her six-year term as presiding bishop of the ELCA began November 1, 2013.[6]

Prior to her election, Eaton served as Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod (NEOS)[7] since her installation on February 7, 2007 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church (Akron, OH). Bishop Eaton previously served congregations in Ohio. Eaton was ordained in 1981 after a call to serve All Saints Lutheran Church (Worthington, OH) and a one-year term as interim pastor at Good Hope Lutheran Church (Youngstown, OH). She was serving as pastor at Messiah Lutheran Church (Ashtabula, OH) when she was called to become bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod.[8]

She attended the College of Wooster where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in music education in 1977 and then went to Harvard Divinity School where she earned a Master of Divinity degree.

Eaton is married to the Rev. Conrad Selnick, a priest of the Episcopal Church (U.S.A.), who is vice president of the Bexley Seabury Seminary Federation (Chicago, IL), and together they have two adult daughters, Rebeckah and Susannah.


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