Former Bishops

ELCA Bishop Paul Blom, (1991-2007)

A graduate of St. Olaf College and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, Paul Blom served as pastor of Bethel (1967-1970), Calvary (1970-1979) and St. Timothy (1979-1984) Lutheran Churches in California, then Kinsmen Lutheran Church in Houston, from 1984 to 1991. He was elected Bishop in June 1991. He is retired and lives in the Austin area, where he and his wife Marie enjoy playing with their grandchildren.


ELCA Bishop Martin Yonts, (1987-1991)

Pastor Martin Yonts served as mission director from 1973 to 1987. A graduate of Lenoir Rhine College in Hickory, NC and Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, Bishop Yonts served congregations in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Texas. In Texas and Louisiana, 48 congregations were organized under his oversight. He retired in 1992 after 50 years of faithful service.

LCA Phil Wahlberg, (1958-1987)

In 1958 Pastor Phil Wahlberg was elected the second full-time president of the Texas-Louisiana Synod of the United Lutheran Church in America. He was then elected as president of the Texas-Louisiana Synod of the Lutheran Church in America when that church body was formed in 1962. Wahlberg attended Texas Lutheran College for two years (where he was valedictorian), Lenoir-Rhyne College and Southern Seminary. In eight years St. Mark’s in Corpus Christi had grown from 100 members to 650 under his leadership. He would serve as president, then bishop, until the formation of the ELCA in 1987, a total of 29 years. He and the executive committee chose as his assistant Pastor Martin Yonts, who would later become the first ELCA bishop of this synod.

ALC Augie Wenzel, (1978-1987)

Pastor Augie Wenzel was elected bishop of the Southern District of the American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1978. He attended Texas Lutheran College in Seguin and then Trinity Seminary/Capital University in Columbus, OH and Garrett Theological Seminary of Northwestern University where he earned his doctorate in Historical Theology. In early 1988, he became director of Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest. He served Christ Lutheran in Nashville, TN and then as Campus Pastor and Assistant Professor of Theology at Texas Lutheran College right before getting elected Bishop.

As it is, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you.”

~ 1 Corinthians 12:20-22a