For times of pastoral vacancy or whenever regular called pastoral
leadership is not available, the WV-WMD maintains and provides
lists (scroll down) of ordained clergy, seminarians, and lay
worship leaders who may be available to "supply." Additional
sources for "supply" worship leadership are found after the
mentioned lists. Please read through the entire page (and the
special COVID-19 information at right) to familiarize yourself
with protocols and guidelines. To make sure that you have the most
up-to-date version of this page, hit your broswer's refresh/reload
The WV-WMD Synod set a revised compensation schedule for pulpit
supply at its 24 January 2015 Synod Council meeting. Since 1 March
2015, pulpit supply is to be compensated as follows. At its 6
February 2021 meeting, Synod Council created an addendum to the
supply compensation guidelines covering remote and hybrid (remote
& in-person) worship/preaching. If you are using remote or
hybrid worship, please review.
The following applies if the service is being delivered either
remotely or hybrid employing Zoom®, Facebook®,
Youtube®, etc.. If you are having trouble
deciphering, click here to download examples of calculations.
When the Bishop of this Synod or the Director of Evangelical Mission is the worship leader/preacher, whether the person is to be compensated depends upon the circumstances. If the pastor of the congregation is present for worship, your gifts to mission support cover all of the costs associated with this visit---though a congregation may, at its option, remit a gift to the synod. When the pastor is not present, the supply preacher is to be compensated at the normal supply rate. Both the Bishop and the D.E.M. have the right to waive some or all the compensation associated with supply preaching costs. The bishop and D.E.M. may ask you, under some circumstances, to separate the mileage and the supply honorarium, making the check for honorarium out to the preacher and the check for the mileage out to the synod.
Many church agencies and church related agencies have similar policies. Please be sure to inquire what the policy is with respect to the person being engaged.
Holy Communion may only be celebrated by an ordained presbyter
(pastor) on the roster of the ELCA or an ordained presbyter with
ordination equivalency on the on the roster of a full-communion
partner and in good standing. Special dispensation for lay
Eucharistic presidency, under the policies of the ELCA, can only
be granted under unusual circumstances and then for only six
months at a time. At this time, there are no active dispensations
for lay Eucharistic presidency. If your congregation has received
a dispensation in the past, please contact Bishop Riegel to
discuss your situation.
Holy Baptism, when administered in an emergency, may be performed
by anyone. An emergency requires both imminent death and the
unavailability of an ordained presbyter (pastor). Prompt reporting
to the local pastor is required. When administered during the
worship of the congregation---administration at other times is at
the discretion of the pastor and should be rare---the regular
presider is the pastor of the congregation. The same rubric for
Holy Communion applies here.
A funeral is neither a sacrament nor a rite reserved to the
clergy by either civil or ecclesiastical law. A Bishop's Lay
Worship Leader may be engaged for a funeral when authorized by the
pastor loci or the interim pastor loci.
A wedding is not a sacrament. Civil law, however, in Maryland,
West Virginia, and Virginia limits who may legally conduct a
wedding. Additionally, out-of-state clergy should ascertain
whether bonding or some other requirement exists (as in the case
of West Virginia).
|If you notice an error or omission on the
rolls below, please contact the Bishop at
Bishop@WV-WMD.org or 304-680-5388.
Bishop's Lay Worship Leaders are equipped through the synod's
training program and authorized by the synod for service under the
Bishop's Lay Worship Leaders Program adopted by Synod Assembly
1989 (SA89.6.37) and most recently amended by Synod Assembly 2000.
This service in the territory of synod is at the invitation of the
congregation's pastor or, if delegated, the congregational leader
appointed for the task of coordinating supply preachers. When
considering someone other than one listed, contact
The WV-WMD Synod Council, at its 6 February 2021 meeting, adopted
a new policy for Synodical Lay Worship Leaders.
Applications to enter the roll of BLWLs are not being accepted.
|Bishop's Lay Worship Leader
||Base of Operations
|Melissa Bannister||Parkersburg, WV
|Lois Broyles||Barboursville, WV
|George Friedline||New Martinsville, WVfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lola Graham (temporarily unavailable)||Upper Tract, WV||304-358-7733|
|Jerry Harman (temporarily unavailable)
|William Hawk (temporarily unavailable)||Wheeling, WVemail@example.com|
|Henry Hodges||Wardensville, WV
|Patricia Keller (temporarily unavailable)||Keyser, WV
|George McKinney (temporarily unavailable)||Hurricane, WV
|James Sheatsley||Beckley, WV||304-252-5321 (O)
|Vicki Tomich (temporarily unavailable)||Moundsville, WV
|Richard Wolford||Charleston, WV
|Carl Yost (temporarily unavailable)||PC||304-897-5041|
Seminarians in good standing and authorized by their seminaries (or, absent an authorization protocol, the Bishop) and those approved by an ELCA synod for ordination (deaconal or presbyteral) may also be engaged for supply preaching. They may preach but not preside at altar. The two closest seminaries to the bulk of our territory are United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg Campus), Gettysburg, PA, and Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH. When considering someone other than one listed, contact the bishop.
|Devin Ames (available when home on breaks)
||Middler M.Div. Track / Luther Seminary
||Junior M.Div. Track / ULS
||Middler M.M.L. Track / ULS
WV-WMD does not, at the present time, have any deacons providing supply ministry on the territory of this synod (who have also requested to be on the public list). Deacons (on the ELCA roster of ministers of Word & service) who are in good standing in their own synod may be engaged for supply work under the same conditions as any other supply preacher. They may preach but not preside at altar. When considering someone other than one listed, refer to the guidelines posted after this list.
The names listed below are known to the synod as ordained
presbyters (pastors or ministers of Word & Sacrament) in good
standing in the ELCA or a full-communion partner. They may both
preach and preside at altar. When considering someone other than
one listed, refer to the guidelines posted
after this list.
||Base of Operations
|The Rev. Dr. Timothy Allen (UMC)||Fairmont, WV
|The Rev. Paul Blank
||Deep Creek Lake, MD
|The Rev. Jacqueline Campbell (temporarily unavailable)||Fairmont, WV
|The Rev. Larry Cantu (temporarily unavailable)||Winchester, VA
|The Most Rev. Dr. Ralph Dunkin||Wheeling, WVfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Chap. Courtney Erzkus (available after
|Chap. Ben Erzkus (available after Sept. 1)||Morgantown, WV||717-881-4631
|The Rev. Nancy Knol
||Deep Creek Lake, MD
|The Rev. David Lee (PCUSA) (temporarily unavailable)||Elkins, WV
|The Rev. Bob Lowden
||Stephens City, VA
|The Rev. Thomas Omholt||Oakland, MDemail@example.com|
|The Rt. Rev. Matthew L. Riegel, S.T.M.
|The Rev. Sherri Schafer
|The Rev. R. Alvin Schafer
|The Rev. Sharon Van Dam (temporarily unavailable)||Wellsburg, WV
Congregations in the Eastern Panhandle might want to consider
obtaining supply preachers from the Gettysburg Campus of United Lutheran Seminary.
Congregations along the Ohio River might look to Trinity Lutheran
Seminary, Columbus, OH. Seminary professors and staff may be
available. Likewise, seminarians are often authorized by the
seminaries to supply preach. Verify with the seminary that this is
the case before engaging a seminarian.
WV-WMD accepts the credentials of supply preachers authorized by
our neighboring ELCA synods. To locate contact information for
these synods, visit the
ELCA's "Synods" webpage.
The provisions of the ELCA's full-communion agreements provide
for pulpit & altar fellowship as well as the
interchangeability of clergy. The differences, however, between
our respective rosters complicate this interchangeability. Prior
to engaging a ordained or layperson for supply, contact the synod
office to verify appropriateness.
Before engaging a supply pastor, especially for sacramental or
other ministerial functions, please contact bishop. Per our
polity, the following may preside at altar in our congregations:
When it is impossible to secure a supply preacher from any of the
approved/recommended sources, two options remain open for
The WV-WMD Synod Council, at its 6 February 2021 meeting, adopted a new policy for Synodical Lay Worship Leaders. The adoption of the SLWL policy does rescind or amend the existing BLWL policy; only the Synod Assembly can rescind or otherwise amend the BLWL policy. At its January 2020 meeting, Synod Council appointed the Select Commission for Synodical Lay Worship Leadership (The Rev. Sean Smith (chair), The Rev. Sally Bartling, and Stephanie Setley) to review the drafts for Synodical Lay Worship Leadership prepared by the bishop with report to the Synod Council with recommendations. The Select Commission was later charged with development of procedures related to the initiation of the Reader license. More information will be forthcoming about application and licensure process. Download the SLWL policy here.