From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Oberkirchenrat Jochen Bohl New Lutheran Bishop of Saxony

From "Frank Imhoff" <>
Date Thu, 08 Apr 2004 06:57:40 -0500

Oberkirchenrat Jochen Bohl New Lutheran Bishop of Saxony
Bohl: "I Can See Strong, Lively Congregations"

DRESDEN, Germany/GENEVA, 8 April 2004 (LWI) * The director of the diaconal agency in Saxony, Oberkirchenrat Jochen Bohl, was elected as the new bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, March 27. 

Bohl, 53, obtained the necessary majority in the fourth round of voting against Rev. Johannes Berthold, 49, a theology professor in Moritzburg, Germany. The bishop-elect will succeed Bishop Volker Kress, 64, who will retire at the end of June after more than ten years in office.

In a congratulatory letter, the general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), Rev. Dr Ishmael Noko welcomed Bohl's election and pointed out that the new bishop would be bringing significant experience in both diaconal and pastoral work to his new ministry. He wished him God's blessings for the pastoral and organizational responsibilities ahead.

Bohl advocates a church that is visible in development issues in society rather than one that restricts itself to pastoral care alone. He is optimistic about the future of the church in spite of decreasing membership. "I can see strong, lively congregations," he remarks.

Born on 19 April 1950 at Luedenscheid, Germany, Bohl studied Protestant theology from 1968 to 1974 in Wuppertal, Marburg/Lahn and Bochum. From 1974 to 1976, he was an assistant pastor at Brueninghausen near Luedenscheid. Ordained in 1977, he worked as a parish pastor from 1978 to 1986 at Aplerbeck in the Dortmund-South district of the Evangelical Church of Westphalia. 

 From 1986 to 1995 Bohl served as director of the Protestant youth association in Saarland. In November 1995 he became director of the diaconal agency of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony, and was recognized as a pastor of the church. The church's social service agency employs more than 16,000 staff and has numerous volunteers working in nearly 1,400 services and institutions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony has 916,000 members, and joined the LWF in 1947.

During the 1980s, Bohl worked on reconciliation issues concerning Israel and
Poland, and maintained regular contacts at that time with congregations in
the former German Democratic Republic. After the peaceful revolution of 1989,
he considered the East as more challenging because of the major tasks there.

At a June 26 special worship service in Dresden's Kreuzkirche, the
Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saxony will bid farewell to Kress and install

The Bohls have three sons. (406 words)

[The LWF is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran
tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund (Sweden), the LWF now has 136 member
churches in 76 countries representing 62.3 million of the almost 66 million
Lutherans worldwide. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas
of common interest such as ecumenical and inter-faith relations, theology,
humanitarian assistance, human rights, communication, and the various aspects
of mission and development work. Its secretariat is located in Geneva,
[Lutheran World Information (LWI) is the LWF's information service. Unless
specifically noted, material presented does not represent positions or
opinions of the LWF or of its various units. Where the dateline of an article
contains the notation (LWI), the material may be freely reproduced with

*    *	   *

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