Hundreds turned out in Detroit Sunday to witness the installation of the first African-American head of a Lutheran church body in southeast Michigan.
The Rev. Stephen Marsh, who was elected to a six-year term as the fifth bishop in Detroit, officially became the bishop of the Southeast Michigan Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the biggest Lutheran church in the United States.
He is one of two African-American bishops among 65 heads of local synods in the United States, according to church officials. The Southeast Michigan Synod consists of about 128 congregations with 60,000 baptized members in 10 counties. About 98 percent of its members are White.
Marsh, a Chicago native, served as a pastor in New York City and Chicago and came to Detroit in 2004 to be an assistant to the bishop for African-American ministries and justice concerns.