The Rev. Richard H. GrahamThe Rev. Richard H. Graham was elected to a six-year term as bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA on June 8, 2007, by the 2007 Synod Assembly. He took office on September 1, 2007, and was installed on October 14, 2007. He was elected to a second term by the 2013 Synod Assembly.

Bishop Graham most recently served as pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in College Park, Maryland. Additionally, he has been Assistant Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hagerstown, Maryland; and Associate Pastor of St. Martin’s Lutheran Church, Annapolis, Maryland.

Bishop Graham received a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1977 and a Master of Arts degree in Church History from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. in 1989.

Prior local leadership included as synod secretary, member of the synod’s Candidacy Committee and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Lutheran Home for the Aged, Rockville, Maryland.

Bishop Graham succeeded the Rev. Theodore F. Schneider who retired from the position after serving two terms following his election in 1995.

Bishop Graham is married to Nancy Ann Graham and has two adult daughters.




Photo by William Swarm of Redeemer Lutheran in McLean, Virg.

Photo by William Swarm of Redeemer Lutheran in McLean, Virg.

The Rev. Amy Thompson Sevimli took office as assistant to the bishop of the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. Synod of the ELCA on January 1, 2008.

Pr. Sevimli came to the position from serving as Associate Pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Arlington, Virginia. Among the synod activities in which Pr. Sevimli has participated are the Singles and Young Adults Team of the Division for Congregational Life, Youth Ministry Team of the Division for Congregation Life, Church Vocations Committee of the Division for Ministry, and Reference and Council Committee. She has a love of ecumenical and inter-faith dialogue and has participated in both the local Lutheran-Episcopal Coordinating Committee as well as the synod’s Lutheran-Jewish Dialogue. Pr. Sevimli also continues to serve as a Discernment Advocate with Project Connect, an initiative of the Eastern Cluster of Seminaries.

Pr. Sevimli received her Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, in 2003. Included in her studies was a year at the University of Bonn (Germany). She did her undergraduate work at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, an ELCA institution of higher education. After graduating, Pr. Sevimli was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and both studied and taught in Germany. In 2008, Pr. Sevimli completed a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) in New Testament at LTSG.




Photo by Collin Corbi, taken at Living Faith Lutheran Church in Rockville, Md.

Photo by Collin Corbi, taken at Living Faith Lutheran Church in Rockville, Md.

The Rev. Philip C. Hirsch began  service as Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission for the Metro D.C. Synod on June 1, 2009.   This is a position created and funded by the ELCA to strengthen, revitalize and establish local congregations.   Pr. Hirsch’s focus is on evangelism, stewardship and ministering with the poor.

Pr. Hirsch went to Susquehanna University and then received a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1990.   He earned a Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio in 1997 in preaching with a focus on alleviating violence in the inner city.  He was awarded a Leadership Grant from the Lily Foundation to continue his work and study in South Africa in 1998.

Pr. Hirsch served as pastor in Camden, New Jersey and, most recently at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fairfax, Virginia.  He has served as a Synod Council member, Conference Dean, Candidacy Committee member, Chair of the Division for Ministry, Colleague Group Leader for First Call Theological Education and he worked with the Burned Churches Project of the National Council of Churches.   He is married to Dana M. T. Hirsch and they have three school aged children.