The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America installed its first openly transgender bishop – the first dominant Christian denomination in the United States to do so.
Reverend Megan Rohrer was elected in May to a six-year term with the Sierra Pacific Synod after her current bishop announced his retirement.
They were installed in a service at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on September 11.
The bishop told the faithful that they would be “at the same messy and loving things that I was doing before.”
“But most of all, if you allow me, and I think you will, my hope is to love you and beyond, to love what you love,” they added.
Bishop Rohrer will lead one of the church’s 65 synods, overseeing nearly 200 congregations in northern California and northern Nevada.
They previously served as pastors of Grace Lutheran Church in San Francisco and chaplain coordinator for the city police department.
Bishop Rohrer has also helped the city’s homeless and LGBTQ + communities, including creating programs to provide groceries to people with HIV.
In a statement, the bishop said, “I am assuming this role because a diverse community of Lutherans in northern California and Nevada voted in a spirit of prayer and reflection to do something historic.
“My installation will celebrate all that is possible when we trust God to guide us forward.”
The church is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with approximately 3.3 million members.
Bishop Rohrer, married with two children, became one of seven LGBTQ + pastors accepted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in 2010 after authorizing the ordination of pastors in same-sex relationships.
They studied religion at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, before moving to California to pursue masters and doctoral studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.
Among those attending the service was Pastor Noah Hepler who starred in the season five opening episode of Queer Eye, Preaching Out Loud.