Michael Rinehart is Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a community of over one hundred congregations, campus ministries, retreat centers and other agencies. He studied music at Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in Valparaiso, Indiana. He received his Master of Divinity at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. He lives in Montgomery, Texas with his wife and children.
Serving as bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is an honor, a challenge, and a joy. It has given me the opportunity to work with many gifted pastors and committed people of faith. We’re creating communities that make disciples who serve the world in Jesus’ name.
Evangelism is one of my passions, and our synod’s highest priority. Evangelism is making fully devoted followers of Christ, who taught love of God and neighbor as the greatest commandments. Of late much time has been devoted to helping congregations get back on their feet after four devastating hurricanes in the last four years.
I’ve also been very involved in our companion synod program, particularly with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peru. I’m just starting to learn about our other companion synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic.
Undergraduate studies: Bachelor of Music in organ performance from Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in northern Indiana, 1983
Seminary: Masters of Divinity from Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio, 1988.
- St. Paul Lutheran Church, Davenport, Iowa (1988-1994)
- Christ Lutheran Church, Charlotte, North Carolina (1994-1997)
- Grace Lutheran Church, Conroe, Texas (1997-2007)
- Bishop, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod (2007-present).
- Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Board of Directors
- Texas Lutheran University Corporation Board
- Houston Coalition for Immigration Reform
- ELCA Bishops’ Immigration Ready Bench
- Board of the Houston Coalition for Mutual Respect
Incidentally: Played in the main stage band for four LCMS Youth Gatherings:
• Denver, Mile High Stadium in 1989: Blessed in the Journey
• New Orleans, Super Dome 1992: A Time for Joy
• San Antonio, Alamo Dome 1995: River of Light
• Atlanta, Atlanta Dome 1998: Called to Be