From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ELCA Assembly Elects Carlos Pena Vice President

Date Sat, 16 Aug 2003 18:54:28 -0500


August 16, 2003

ELCA Assembly Elects Carlos Pena Vice President

     MILWAUKEE (ELCA) -- The 2003 Churchwide Assembly of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has elected Carlos
Pena, Galveston, Texas, to serve a six-year term as vice
president, the highest elected lay position in the church. "I
have been called and I look forward to serving the church," said
Pena. "I humbly accept the challenge."
     The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of
the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 11-17 at the Midwest Airlines
Center. There are about 2,100 people participating, including
1,031 ELCA voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is
"Making Christ Known: For the Healing of the World."
     Pena, 50, received 627 votes, 64.4 percent, on the fifth
ballot Aug. 16. Mary Froehlig, 43, Southwest California Synod,
who was also on the ballot, received 346 votes, 35.6 percent.
     Pena, who is the first man elected to the position, cited
the strengths of his predecessors, and added, "[They] are very
skilled, and I hope I can do half the job they've done." Two
women held the office prior to the current vice president, Dr.
Addie J. Butler, ELCA Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, who
concludes her term this year and did not seek re-election. Pena
said he wants to "lead by example." "I want to make sure all
sides have an opportunity to discuss," he said.
     Pena is the president of Kleen Supply Co, Inc. Galveston,
and C.M. Distributing, Houston, which grew from a company his
father founded. His first job after college was as a music
teacher at the high school he graduated from, and he still keeps
a trombone in his trunk "just in case."
     Pena finds satisfaction in the business world. "Working for
myself has given me the opportunity to use free time in my
community and church," he said.
     Pena's involvements include serving on the regional
governing board of Christus Health Care and as vice president of
Galveston Historical Foundation. In the ELCA, he has served as
vice president of the ELCA Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod and
as a member of the ELCA Church Council, in addition to leadership
at First Lutheran Church, Galveston, Texas.
     Pena is a native of Texas. He is married to Diane, a teacher
coordinator at a church-based school, and has a son in college
and a daughter in high school. In his acceptance address, he
thanked his wife and mentors. The vice-president-elect said he
plans to lean into their strong support as he begins his new post
on Nov. 1.
-- -- --
Information about the ELCA Churchwide Assembly can be found at on the Web.

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or

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