Bishop to Visit Bethany

Bethany is preparing for a visit from a bishop.

According to the college, Rev. Bishop Michael Rinehart, Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), is scheduled to visit Bethany College on Wednesday, March 27, and Thursday, March 28. As a part of the college’s five-year strategic plan, Bethany, Arise!, the college is regularly hosting ELCA bishops and pastors on campus.

The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a community of over one hundred congregations, campus ministries, retreat centers, and church-related agencies.

“Bethany is committed to offering an education of the mind and the heart. Connecting with church leaders provides our students with tremendous opportunities to think about and discuss some of life’s most important questions. We are grateful for Bishop Rinehart’s investment of time and talent,” said President Will Jones.

Bishop Rinehart received a Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in northern Indiana. He also holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. Before being elected Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod in 2007, he served as Associate Pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa, and pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Charlotte, North Carolina and Grace Lutheran Church, Conroe, Texas.

Currently he serves as a member of the Texas Lutheran University Corporation Board and the Houston, Texas Coalition for Immigration Reform Board. Presently he is serving as the chair of the Board of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Bishop Rinehart lives in Montgomery, Texas with his wife Susan and their children John and Yuliana.

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) serves as a witness to God’s love for all people.  As such they stand with and advocate for migrants and refugees. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service promotes the best interests of all refugee and migrant children in the United States by ensuring that federal legislation and policies protect the right to due process and welfare of these vulnerable youth. LIRS reflects American Lutherans’ deep immigrant roots and passionate commitment to welcoming newcomers, especially those who are most in need. communities.

Bishop Rinehart’s visit demonstrates Bethany College’s commitment to strengthening its relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by inviting synodical bishops and other church leaders to the Bethany College campus throughout the year. Bishop Rinehart’s visit will provide an opportunity for him to interact with students, staff, and faculty. Plans for his stay include attending chapel on Wednesday, March 27th, dialoguing with students during classes, meeting with President Will Jones, and a luncheon discussion with area pastors. On Wednesday evening March 27th Rev. Rinehart will preach at the 7:00 p.m. Lenten service at Messiah Lutheran Church in Lindsborg. The public is welcome to attend.

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop, and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning, and service. Bethany connects its past, present, and future with distinctive initiatives like Swedes to Sweden, a free service-learning trip for the sophomore class to Sweden, and the Good Life Scholarship, presenting all local high school graduates with a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the college. Bethany College is on the Web at and is located in Lindsborg, Kansas, the fine arts and crafts capital of the state.