Ephesians 4 List: Improving Our Witness

The Ephesians 4 List: Improving Our Witness

In Ephesians 4, Saint Paul lists the characteristics and the work of the Church in this way:

“…[God] gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

  • to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
  • for building up the body of Christ,
  • until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God…
  • so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
  • Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
  • from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly,
  • makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

Ephesians 4: 11-16 (ESV) [Emphsis Added]

Dear Delegates and fellow members of the LCMS,

The words of the Apostle Paul are the prayer of Our Congregations — Our Synod.

We pray for God to lead all of us, through a Spirit of truth and love, to grow up in every way into Christ as a whole body, where every joint and each part are working together.

We believe that the more LCMS leadership reflects the whole of our church body, the stronger and more united — and more effective — we will be in our proclamation of the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Isn’t that what we all want?

Then why for the past 15 years are 90% of elected leaders in the LCMS chosen solely from the so-called “United List?”

Isn’t It Representation That Helps Bring Unity?

Congregations that vote in the same group of leaders over and over again rarely experience health — or growth.  Not all faithful Lutheran leaders come from one group in the LCMS.

Faithful Lutheran leaders who support the LCMS’s official doctrine and practice, hold to the truth of God’s Word, and uphold our Lutheran Confessions come from all types of LCMS congregations.  They also come with a rich, God-given variety of perspectives on how best to thrive, not just survive, in bringing God’s truth to the Church and to the world.  They come from small churches and large churches, from historic and new churches, from churches that some would describe as traditional – and from churches that some might describe as non-traditional.

But no matter where these leaders come from, they are called to works of ministry (or service) to build up the body of Christ – and lead us to attain to the unity of faith.  

Just ask yourself — is that how you would describe what’s happening now?

Many of us in the LCMS don’t believe that’s the case.  Therefore, we present to you a different list of nominees.  Because we believe the mix of people included will better represent St. Paul’s vision for the Church, we’re calling it the Ephesians 4 List. 

Building on Good Work

The list builds on the good work of the Committee for Convention Nominations.  The nominees we suggest are best to serve the LCMS’s current situation also come from congregational and Synodical leaders (both former and current), some current District Presidents, some Concordia University System Presidents, and some men and women who served in these positions in the past.

We believe this list offers you a broad mix of experienced incumbents and fresh faces, some who find support from other lists and some who previously were on no lists at all.

We present these names with the hope that we might embark on a new season of a collegial and collaborative culture in the LCMS that better reflects the breadth of the LCMS, brings honor to God, and will be an even more faithful and effective witness to our Savior, Jesus.

On behalf of the Our Congregations — Our Synod,

Rev. Dr. Charles S. Mueller, Jr., Editor

Click here to download a pdf copy of the current Ephesians 4 List or scroll down to view our recommendations.  The pages listed after each name refer to pages in the 2023 Convention’s Biographical Synopses and Statements of Nominees.  “+” after a name indicates an Incumbent.   “**” indicates a floor nomination.

First Vice President

Rev. Richard Snow, Nebraska District President (Pages 12, 22)

Regional Vice Presidents

Central Region

Rev. Dr. Lawrence Rast (Pages 9, 24, 27) OR
Rev. Dr. William Schumacher (Pages 24, 27)

East/Southeast Region
Rev. Dr. Victor Belton (Pages 9, 14, 28)

Great Lakes Region
Rev. Dr. David Maier (Pages 9, 31, 32, 77)

Great Plains Region
Rev. Dr. Byrene (Keith) Haney (Pages 9, 31, 34) OR
Rev. Dr. Robert (Reed) Lessing (Pages 9, 34, 35)

West/Southwest Region
Rev. Dr. Timothy Klinkenberg (Pages 9, 38)


Rev. Derek Klemm (Pages 40, 42)

LCMS Board of Directors

At-Large Ordained (2)

Rev. Derek Klemm (Pages 40, 42) AND
Rev. Brent Smith (Pages 34, 42)

East/Southeast Region Layperson
Jon David Allen (Page 42) OR
Leo MacKay Jr. (Page 43)

Great Lakes Region Layperson
John William (Jack) Kidwell (Page 43)

Great Plains Layperson
Glenn E. Van Velson (Pages 44, 54)

At-Large Layperson
Ryan P. Ermeling (Page 44)

Board for National Mission

East/Southeast Region Ordained or Commissioned
Rev. Adolfo Borges (Page 46)

Great Plains Region Ordained
Rev. Richard Boring (Page 46)

Central Region Layperson
Seth Hinz (Page 47)

Great Lakes Region Layperson
+ Crysten Sanchez (Page 48)

West/Southwest Region Layperson
** Linda Kurtz (Page 82)

Board for International Mission

Central Region Ordained
Rev. Peter Brock (Pages 13, 24, 29)

Great Lakes Region Ordained or Commissioned
Rev. Dr. Scott Yakimow (Page 50)

West/Southwest Region Ordained or Commissioned
Rev. Dr. Terrence Chan (Page 37, 50)

East/Southeast Region Lay Person
Michael (Mike) Wind (Page 51)

Great Plains Region Layperson
Jan Bruick (Page 52)

Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR)

Rev. Dr. Kevin Austin (Page 53)

Timothy Leech (Page 53)

Glenn E. Van Velson (Pages 44, 54)

Concordia Publishing House (CPH) Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. Mark Birkholz (Page 55)

Dcs. Pamela Nielsen (Page 55)

Laypersons (3)
Dr. Jill Johnson (Page 56)
Kent Warneke (Page 57)
** Floor Nominee — Waiting for Documentation (Page 80)

Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) Board of Directors

Ordained or Commissioned
** Rev. Dr. David Bahn (Page 80)

Laypersons (2)
Jaimie Peters (Page 59)
+ Jonathan Kramer (Page 58)

Concordia University System (CUS) Board of Directors

Rev. Timothy (Tim) Runtsch (Pages 37, 60)

Dr. Steven (Steve) Buuck (Page 61)

Layperson (2)
+ Ellen Lange (Page 61) AND
** Linda Stoterau (Page 71)

Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Board of Regents

** Rev. Dr. S T Williams, Jr. (Page 13, 83)

Layperson (2)
Michael Lange (Page 64)
+ Dr. Beverly Yahnke (Page 64) 

Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Board of Regents

Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Skopak (Page 28, 65)

Laypersons (2)
+ Paul Edmon (Page 66) AND
** Janis McDaniels (Page 82)

Concordia University Chicago Board of Regents

+ Rev. Eric Andrae (Page 67)

+ Carol Ruth Johnson (Page 68)

Laypersons (2)
Jeffrey Elbert (Page 67) AND
+ Dr. Alison Witte (Page 69)

Concordia University Irvine Board of Regents

Rev. Nathan Schaus (Page 69)

Jeffrey Beavers (Page 70)

Laypersons (2)
+ Laura Hemminger (Page 70) AND
Linda Stoterau (Page 71)

Concordia University Nebraska Board of Regents

+ Rev. Brad Birtell (Page 71)

+ Dr. Craig Ernstmeyer (Page 72)

Laypersons (2)
+ Timothy Hu (Page 73) AND
Dr. Douglas Tewes (Page  73)

Concordia University St. Paul Board of Regents

Rev. Jeffrey Cloeter (Pages 24, 73)

John Chilman (Page 74)

Laypersons (2)
+ Paul Hinz (Page 74)  AND
Richard Liedtke (Page 75)

Concordia University Texas Board of Regents

Rev. Michael Dorn (Page 75) OR
Rev. Dr. Yohannes Mengsteab (Pages 13, 19, 28, 37, 38, 76)

+ Dr. Mary Beth Gaertner (Page 76)

Laypersons (2)
Dr. Michelle Abrego (Page 76) AND
Kristy Carr (Page 77)

Concordia University Wisconsin Board of Regents

Rev. Dr. David Maier (Pages 9, 31, 32, 77)

+ Dr. Gary Petersen (Page 78)

Laypersons (2)
Michael Bartel (Page 78)  AND
David Lambert (Page 79)


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