Northwestern Ohio Synod


The Rev. Elizabeth Eaton is Bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod and the new Presiding Bishop-Elect of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Her term as Presiding Bishop will run from October 2013 – October 2019.

Bp. Eaton was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1977, she earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from The College of Wooster.  She earned a master of divinity degree in 1980 from Harvard Divinity School.  Following ordination in 1981, Eaton served as assistant pastor at All Saints, Worthington, then as an interim pastor at Good Hope, Youngstown.  Her next call was as pastor at Messiah, Ashtabula in 1991 where she served until her election as NEOS Bishop in 2006.

Eaton is married to Rev. Conrad Selnick, who is an Episcopal priest serving St. Christopher-By-The-River, Gates Mills, Ohio.  They are parents of 2 daughters, Rebeckah and Susannah.

The ELCA Northeastern Ohio Synod has 84,236 members in 205 congregations.  The synod office is located in Cuyahoga Falls.

Official ELCA Press Release

PITTSBURGH (ELCA) — The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Northeastern Ohio Synod, was elected Aug. 14 presiding bishop of the ELCA at the 2013 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. She was elected on the fifth ballot. There were 889 votes cast, and 445 votes were needed for an election. Eaton received 600 votes and the Rev. Mark S. Hanson, ELCA presiding bishop, received 287.

The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 12-17 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The theme for the triennial assembly is “Always being made new.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary of this church.

“We are a church that is overwhelmingly European in a culture that is increasingly pluralistic. We need to welcome the gifts of those who come from different places, that is a conversation we need to have as a church,” Eaton told the assembly shortly after the election.

Prior to becoming synod bishop, Eaton served as pastor for ELCA congregations in Ohio. She earned a Master’s of divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio.

An assembly schedule is available at and up-to- the minute news entries at