The Rev. Michael Rinehart has served as Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) since 2007. The synod is composed of 119 congregations with approximately 40,000 baptized members in southeast Texas and southern Louisiana.
Bishop Rinehart is a 1983 graduate of Valparaiso University, a Lutheran university in northern Indiana, where he earned a bachelor of music degree in organ performance. He received his master of divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio in 1988.
Prior to being elected to his current position, Bishop Rinehart served as pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa (1988-94), Christ Lutheran Church in Charlotte, North Carolina (1994-97), and Grace Lutheran Church in Conroe, Texas (1997 – 2007).
He currently is a member of the Texas Lutheran University Corporation, the Houston Coalition for Immigration Reform, and the Houston Coalition for Mutual Respect.
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Bishop Rinehart and his wife, Susan, are the parents of two children, John and Yuliana.