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African-American bishop to make history

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by Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press

stephenmarshThe first African-American head of a major Lutheran church body in metro Detroit is to be installed Saturday in a special ceremony.

The Rev. Stephen Marsh is to officially become the bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the biggest Lutheran church in the United States and predominantly white.

The ceremony will be at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.

Marsh is one of two African-American bishops among 65 heads of local synods in the United States, said church officials.

Marsh was elected in May to a six-year term as the fifth bishop in Detroit. The Southeast Michigan Synod consists of about 128 congregations with 60,000 baptized members in 10 counties. About 98% of its members are white, said a church spokesperson.

A native of Chicago, Marsh served as a pastor in New York City and Chicago. He came to Detroit in 2004 to be an assistant to the bishop for African-American ministries and justice concerns.

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Written by Symphony

September 26, 2009 at 5:33 pm

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