The Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, having received 52.32% of the votes cast, is the president-elect of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) for a fifth term of office, 2023–2026.
The nominations process for the position of Synod president began last fall with the mailing of nominating ballots to all congregations of the Synod. All nominations were required to be submitted by Feb. 28, or five months prior to the start of the Synod convention, when the ballots, received by an outside auditor, were tallied and delivered to the Secretary of the Synod.
The resulting candidates were the five ordained ministers who received the highest number of votes in the nominations process and who consented to serve if elected: Harrison, the incumbent president; the Rev. Dr. Patrick T. Ferry, former president of Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor; the Rev. Richard L. Snow, president of the LCMS Nebraska District; the Rev. Peter K. Lange, LCMS first vice-president; and the Rev. Benjamin T. Ball, LCMS sixth vice-president.
The election took place, according to Bylaw 126.96.36.199, starting June 17 (six weeks prior to the convention) via internet balloting provided by YesElections (formerly Election-America). The 6,053 pastoral and lay voters validly registered by the congregations and parishes of the Synod (Bylaw 188.8.131.52) before the deadline (electronic registration by March 19) or their substitutes (as validly submitted before June 9) served as the voters for this election. Of those, a total of 5,000 votes were cast, constituting a vote percentage of 82.60% of the electorate.
The results of the ballot tallied and reported to the Secretary of the Synod by YesElections are as follows:
- Harrison was voted president-elect with 2,616 votes (52.32%);
- Ferry received 1,593 votes (31.86%);
- Ball received 341 votes (6.82%);
- Snow received 318 votes (6.36%); and
- Lange received 132 votes (2.64%).
Harrison said, “Serving as president for 13 years has made me keenly aware of my weaknesses and sins. The job has pushed me to the brink on many occasions. The personal cost to my wife and family has been incalculable.
“Yet these very crosses drive us to Jesus. Thanks be to God for His blessed free Gospel of salvation in the blood of Christ! I appreciate, to no end, your prayers, and I am deeply honored to serve you, the LCMS ꟷ the church whose public confession I believe with my whole heart. It is upon that confession I shall stand on the last day before the judgment seat of Christ (FC SD VII.29-30), a sinner forgiven.”
LCMS Bylaws instruct the Secretary of the Synod to notify the candidates in the Synod’s presidential election of the results of the balloting at least two weeks prior to the convention. The candidates were informed earlier today, June 21, of the results of the June 17–20 ballot.
Additional information about the election result will be published in the second issue of Today’s Business, which will be available at the beginning of the convention.
For more information about the election or candidates, see lcms.org/convention/elections.
The 68th Regular Convention of the LCMS will take place July 29–Aug. 3 at the Baird Center (formerly the Wisconsin Center) in Milwaukee under the theme “We Preach Christ Crucified.”
This article may be updated.
Posted June 21, 2023