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Lutherans Reelect Chilstrom as Leader by Huge Margin

<i> Associated Press</i>

Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom was overwhelmingly reelected as head of the nation’s largest Lutheran denomination Friday.

He got 885 ballots of 1,025 cast in a second round of balloting at the biennial assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The total, 86.3%, was well beyond the 75% needed to keep him at the helm another four years.

Chilstrom, 59, has guided the 5.2-million-member denomination through the formative strains of its early years since it was constituted by a 1987 merger of the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church and the Assn. of Evangelical Lutheran Churches.

The vote was a contrast to Chilstrom’s first election in 1987, when it took nine ballots for him to win. Prior to that, he was head of the Minnesota synod of the former Lutheran Church in America.

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