The Rev. Eric C. Johnson was elected to his first three-year term as president of the LCMS Southern District at the district’s 75th convention, held March 8–9 at the Northshore Harbor Center in Slidell, La.
Johnson, who has served as the district’s mission and ministry facilitator since November 2013, was elected on the second ballot. He succeeds the Rev. Kurtis D. Schultz, who announced his retirement prior to the convention after 15 years as president.
Also elected were:
- Rev. Dr. McNair Ramsey of Valley Grande, Ala., as first vice-president;
- Rev. Warren R. Pellom of Olive Branch, Miss., as second vice-president;
- Rev. David J. Lofthus of Metairie, La., as third vice-president; and
- Rev. Randal G. Ehrichs of Panama City, Fla., as fourth vice-president.
The officers will be installed June 30 in Slidell, La.
During the convention, delegates also adopted resolutions to:
- give thanks for the variety of gifts and resources that are being used in the Southern District to lead people to offer Christ-centered worship, and commend the LCMS Council of Presidents’ “Theses on Worship” for study by congregations, circuit gatherings and professional church-worker conferences.
- recommend two Synod priorities: 1) Examine ways to provide resources specifically aimed at millennials (those raised in the faith who have become inactive, as well as those who have never known Christ), and 2) Expand offerings for coaching and continuing education of pastors, particularly in the areas of teaching, counseling and parish management.
- commend congregations already in partnership with “Together in Mission” and encourage all congregations to reaffirm their commitment to supporting our missionaries through “Together in Mission” partnerships.
- change the Southern District bylaws so that the terms of the president, vice-presidents, secretary, treasurer and circuit visitors begin on July 1 following the district convention.
- change the Southern District bylaws to limit the term of the office of district president to three three-year terms.
- promote an effort to link worship services of any struggling congregation by means of the internet (through a program titled “Connecting to Grow in Ministry”), while praying for more men to be called into the Office of Holy Ministry; and with the leaders of the Southern District provide counsel to these congregations in meeting their Word and Sacrament needs as well as promoting the teachings of the evangelical Lutheran church in that place for generations to come.
The convention theme was “It’s All About Jesus,” based on Phil. 3:8-9: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith.”
Posted March 20, 2018