On the second ballot, delegates to the LCMS Atlantic District convention — meeting June 4-6 at Bronxville, N.Y. — elected the Rev. Derek G. Lecakes of Niskayuna, N.Y., to be the district’s new president. He will take office Sept. 1.
Lecakes succeeds the Rev. Dr. David H. Benke, who is retiring from the district presidency after completing eight three-year terms in that post. By acclamation, the assembly bestowed the title of “president/bishop emeritus” on Benke, who will continue as senior pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Niskayuna, for the last 12 years, Lecakes also has been the Atlantic District’s third vice-president (from its Region I) since 2012 and its disaster-response coordinator since 2005.
The Rev. Dr. Dien A. Taylor, pastor of Redeemer Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Bronx, N.Y., was re-elected as the district’s non-geographical first vice-president.
Also, the Rev. Dr. Joshua Hollmann (pastor of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church, Woodside, N.Y.) was elected to his first term in office as second vice-president (from the district’s Region II).
The Rev. Charles R. Byer (pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Aquebogue, N.Y.), who had been serving as the district’s fourth vice-president, was elected third vice-president (Region III).
And, the Rev. Henry Albrechtsen III (pastor of Love Lutheran Church, East Greenbush, N.Y.) was newly elected as the district’s fourth vice-president (Region I).
The vice-presidents and other elected district officers were installed during the convention. Lecakes’ installation is planned for Sept. 12 at Concordia College—New York, in Bronxville.
“Engaging the World with the Gospel of Hope” was the 2015 Atlantic District convention theme.
Among resolutions adopted, district delegates voted that the 2016 Synod convention consider an overture calling for the LCMS Council of Presidents to form a three-year task force “to foster and further collaboration in Lutheran ministry, education and mission.”
District delegates adopted two resolutions concerning the highly-utilized Atlantic District Lay Diaconate program — calling for its support and expansion and for collaboration with Concordia College—New York in Bronxville, for offering the program to all LCMS districts on the East Coast.
Also to be referred to next year’s Synod convention is an adopted Atlantic District convention resolution to support and strengthen the Synod’s Specific Ministry Pastor program and all programs leading to ordination and commissioned-ministry roster status.
In addition, the district convention voted to refer another resolution to the Synod convention calling for modification of the governance of the LCMS Concordia University System colleges and universities.
Posted June 10, 2015 / Updated June 11, June 15 and June 18, 2015