The Evangelical Church in Germany has elected Bishop Margot Kässmann, 51, to lead 24 million German Protestants—the first time a woman has become the EKD’s top executive. She was the only candidate at the October 28 synod meeting in Ulm, southern Germany.
Kässmann, divorced and the youngest ever chairperson of the EKD council, succeeds Bishop Wolfgang Huber, who is retiring at 67. She has been bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Han nover since 1999.
The EKD is the umbrella organization for 22 regional Lutheran, United and Reformed churches—accounting for most of the country’s Protestant Christians.
Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, said: “The election sends a signal to the church worldwide that God calls us to leadership without consideration of gender, color or descent.” —Ecumenical News International