August 11, 2007
2007 Churchwide Assembly
Swartling elected secretary of the ELCA
David Swartling, a trial lawyer from Seattle, was elected Aug. 11 to a six-year term as secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at the church body's 2007 Assembly at Chicago's Navy Pier.
Swartling was elected to the position after a series of five ballots. On the final ballot, he received 611 votes, with Paul A. Schreck, currently an assistant to the ELCA secretary receiving 366 votes.
The secretary is responsible for ELCA rosters, interpretation of governing documents such as the church's constitution and handles other concerns for the 4.8 million-member church body. The post is a staff position at the ELCA headquarters in Chicago.
Swartling will succeed Lowell G. Almen, who has held the post of secretary since the ELCA was formed in 1987 by a merger of three Lutheran denominations. Almen will leave office Oct. 31.