Former Bishops

Bishop Graham was elected to the office in 2007. The Rev. Theodore F. Schneider served as bishop of the Metro D.C. Synod from 1995-2007, and the Rev. E. Harold Jansen served as bishop from the synod’s inception in 1987-1995.


THE REV. THEODORE F. SCHNEIDERServed as bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, ELCA, from 1995-2007

The Rev. Theodore F. Schneider was elected to the office of bishop by the 1995 Synod Assembly on June 9, 1995, and re-elected by the 2001 Synod Assembly on June 8, 2001. He did not seek a third term but was given the title “Bishop-emeritus” by the 2007 Synod Assembly upon his retiring from the office that year.

Schneider’s pastorate began with his ordination by the Virginia Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America (ULCA) in 1959. Immediately prior to assuming the office of bishop, he served as Senior Pastor at Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, beginning in 1986. He was a charter member and served on the Board of Directors of Silver Spring Visions, a community action group which aggressively addresses issues of homelessness, hunger, drug trafficking and violence in Silver Spring. Schneider also pastored in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Lancaster; Advent Lutheran Church in Lancaster; and Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Millheim.

Schneider earned a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1985 at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. This degree complemented his Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, which he earned in 1959. His undergraduate work was completed at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, where he graduated cum laude in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts. In addition, Schneider has studied archaeology at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, and conducted resident study at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Studies in Jerusalem.

A book of thirteen of Schneider’s sermons on the Gospel lessons for the close of the Pentecost Season, Series C, is published under the title, “Until The Kingdom Comes” (1991). His work is also published in “Called to Jerusalem: Sent to the World,” a series of seventeen sermons on the First Lessons of Series A for the Lent and Easter Seasons (1992).

Schneider has been married to Doris Lee (nee Smith) Schneider since 1956. Together they are the parents of two grown children and also grandparents.


THE REV. E. HAROLD JANSENServed as bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod, ELCA, from 1987-1995

The Rev. E. Harold Jansen was elected to be the first Bishop of the newly formed Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod in 1987. He served in that office through 1995, when he retired.

Jansen entered ordained ministry in 1957, receiving an Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. His education continued at New York University, where he received a Doctor of Philosophy in 1971; Capital University, Bexley, Ohio, where he received a Doctor of Divinity in 1980; and Wagner College, Staten Island, NY, where he received a DD in 1982.

He served congregations in New York and was elected to positions of regional leadership, notably as President of the Eastern District of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) from 1979-1987. The ALC was one of the predecessor church bodies which merged to form the ELCA in 1987.

In addition to the ministry, Jansen brought his gifts to service in the New York City public schools.

Though he retired in August, 1995, Bishop-emeritus Jansen has continued to serve in several interim ministry positions in the Metro D.C. Synod area. He is married to Patricia Hughes, and has four children.