The Rev. Susan J. Briner of New Braunfels was elected May 6, 2018, to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Southwestern Texas Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). She is the first woman to serve as a bishop in the history of the three ELCA synods in Texas. The election was held during the Synod Assembly May 4-6 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in San Marcos. Bishop Briner was installed held on Sept. 1, 2018, at University United Methodist Church in San Antonio.
“I am both humbled and excited to accept this new leadership position,” Briner said. “We have an incredibly diverse territory with great potential for mission. I look forward to engaging with community and church leaders for the betterment of lives and spreading the gospel far and wide.” Briner was ordained in 2003 and called as associate pastor of St. Luke Lutheran Church, Summerville, S.C. She became St. Luke’s senior pastor in 2007. She joined the Southwestern Texas Synod staff in 2012 as the bishop’s associate. Prior to serving as a pastor, she worked in the telecommunications industry for 15 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Duke University and a Master of Divinity Degree from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. Briner is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in New Braunfels and chairs the board of LEAD, a Christian Leadership Development Organization.