About the Northwestern Ohio SynodEvangelical Lutheran Church in America
75,000 Members Synodwide
The congregations of the Northwestern Ohio Synod are comprised of a diverse group of 75,000 members from all walks of life and life experiences.
162 Congregations Synodwide
The Northwestern Ohio Synod is blessed with 162 congregations from north to south and east to west. No matter where you go, you’ll find one of our churches.
$33 Million in Offerings
Lutherans in the Northwestern Ohio Synod are generous. We support local, state, country, and global ministries. We’d love to have you join us in mission.
8 Lutherans per Square Mile
There’s a lot of us! We have a population density of 8 Lutherans per square mile in Northwestern Ohio. You probably know at least one of us.
What is a Synod?
The Northwestern Ohio Synod is one of 65 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and one of six synods that comprise region six. Our neighboring synods in region six include Northeastern Ohio, Northwest Lower Michigan, Southeast Michigan, Indiana/Kentucky and Southern Ohio.
A “synod” is a shared journey. It actually comes from two Greek words which give us the words “synonymous” and “odyssey.” Together, as a synod we are on a synonymous odyssey. It means that we are journeying together: strengthening, challenging, and supporting one another as God leads us in living his mission with each other and with the world.
Each synod in assembly elects a bishop and other officers. As the synod’s pastor, the bishop oversees the ministry of other pastors and congregations. Together with her/his assistant(s), the bishop provides support to congregations. This includes assistance in calling pastors and other staff; support in times of difficulty and congregational conflict; and, joining in the celebrations of congregations. Bishops also oversee the administration of the synod, supervising the work of other officers and staff. In addition, they serve as bishops of the whole ELCA, coming together regularly in gatherings of the Conference of Bishops.
Bishop Daniel Beaudoin
Bishop Beaudoin is overseeing and administering the work of the Northwestern Ohio Synod (NWOS). He ordains and commissions candidates for ministry, installs lay and rostered ministers and provides pastoral care and leadership to the congregations and clergy of NWOS.Email Bishop Beaudoin
Interim Director of Call Process and Congregational Care
Sherry provides oversight for congregational relations with a focus on Ministry of Presence and Preventative Health. She is providing leadership for the Call Process in tandem with the Call Facilitators and Interim Pastors; is responsible for congregational care in matters of transition and conflict, providing resourcing, consultation and leadership development; and is assisting the Bishop in staff and synodical development.
Interim Synod Administrator
Jacob is providing oversight for office operations, support staff, legal matters – including congregational and synodical constitutional questions and updates, Churchwide and Synodical events (Assembly planning and implementation) and financial aspects of the Office of the Bishop.
Executive Administrative Assistant to the Bishop
Jennifer helps to manage the Bishop’s schedule and any matters related to Bishop Daniel including: roster changes, Letters of Call, Synod files, and communication related to Synod Council, the Deans, Installations, Ordinations, and Synod Sympathy announcements.
Mary is responsible for synod accounting, oversees revenue and expenses, writes checks, interfaces with the ELCA Office of the Treasurer and vendors, provides monthly reports and fiscal accounting to the Bishop, staff and Synod Council.
Brent is handling synod communication, website redesign and updates, the database and electronic/systems support for the Synod Office.
Interim Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM)
Jack is on loan to us from the Southeast Michigan Synod where he serves as ATTB and DEM. Jack is assisting NWOS on a limited basis with grant opportunities and facilitating administrative duties related to the ELCA Domestic Mission department.
Director of Candidacy
Pastor Cathy is overseeing and facilitating the NWOS Candidacy process. She guides students through every step of the candidacy process to from discernment to ordination, and assists Bishop Daniel in the assignment processes which brings New Call candidates to this synod.
Diane will be the voice of the Synod Office you hear on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. She is answering phones, taking messages, managing some of the inter-office communication, assisting Jacob and Sherry in Assembly preparation, and is assisting Mary with internal controls in the finance department.
The Northwestern Ohio Synod Council is the board of directors of this synod and serves as its interim legislative authority between meetings of the synod assembly. Members of the Synod Council are elected at the annual Synod Assembly. Each member serves a term of three years, and may be reelected once.
Bishop Daniel Beaudoin, President
Melissa Peper Firestone, Vice President
Pam Kensler, Secretary
(2017; 1st term – Southeastern Conf., Lay)
Rev. Steven Edmiston
(2019; 1st term – Central Conf., Clergy)
Rev. Richard Genzman
(2019, 1st term – Southeastern Conf., Clergy)
(2018; 1st term – Maumee Valley Conf., Lay)
(2017; 1st term – Toledo Area Conference, Lay)
Susan J. Lawrence
(2019; 2nd term – Eastern Conf. Lay)
Rev. Juli Lejman-Guy
(2017, 1st term – Eastern Conf. Clergy)
(2017; appointed to complete 1st term – North Central Conf., Lay)
(2019; 1st term – At Large, Lay)
Rev. Julie Parsell
(2017; 1st term – Maumee Valley, Clergy)
(2019; 2nd term – Southwestern Conf., Lay)
Rev. Mark Wentz
(2019; 1st term – North Central Conf., Clergy)
Rev. Kent Wilson
(2018; 2nd term – Southwestern Conf, Clergy)
Synod Council Minutes
The Northwestern Ohio Synod is split into seven individual conferences. Clergy representatives from each conference are elected by their conference assembly to serve as conference dean. They are convened by the bishop and have the responsibility to provide pastoral care and leadership within their conference.
Pastor Ralph Mineo
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
215 N Second Street
North Baltimore, OH 45872
Pastor Jody Rice
Grace Lutheran Church
705 West State St
Fremont, OH 43420-2407
MAUMEE VALLEY CONFERENCE
Pastor Paul Reichert
St. Martin’s Lutheran Church
203 Defiance Street
Archbold, OH 43502
NORTH CENTRAL CONFERENCE
Pastor Kristina Ahlman
Soloman Lutheran Church
305 W. Main Street
Woodville, OH 43469
Pastor Sarah Schaaf
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
135 Main Street
Waldo, OH 43356
Pastor Will Haggis
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church
160 W. Sycamore Street
Van Wert, OH 45891
TOLEDO AREA CONFERENCE
Pastor Stephen Bauerle
Zion Lutheran Church
22 N 2nd Street
Waterville, OH 43566
What is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
The ELCA is a community of faith that shares a passion for making positive changes in the world. Our faith is built around a strong belief in God as made known to us in Jesus Christ. Through worship, service, and education, we practice our faith, grow our relationship with God and experience God’s grace in our lives.
We also work hard to put our faith into action. In today’s complex world, we strive to make a difference in practical, realistic ways.
With more than 9,000 congregations across the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and 3.9 million members—we welcome you to experience this church right in your community. Help us celebrate our gift of faith—with action.