Bishop Paul Egensteiner
“In this church, we learn more from the diversity than we do from the uniformity of those who have gone before us. I have always tried in some way to communicate that, through recognizing that each and every person is a child of God who deserves my love and respect.” — Bishop Egensteiner, 2016
The Rev. Paul T. Egensteiner was elected on May 17, 2019, to serve a six-year term as bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He served as pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Pleasantville, NY since 1997, and previously served as pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Staten Island, NY from 1984 to 1997. A native New Yorker, Egensteiner grew up in Richmond Hill, Queens. Having come from a long line of Lutherans on his father’s side, a “Lutheran of Lutherans,” Egensteiner was baptized at Saint Philip Evangelical Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, NY.
In 1979, Egensteiner received his Bachelor of Arts from Wagner College in Staten Island, and in 1984, he earned his Master of Divinity from Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Bishop Egensteiner has been active in ecumenical relationships, serving as a group facilitator of First Call Theological Education, ELCA, as Dean of the Tapan Zee Conference, as Chair of the Synod Candidacy Committee, as a diakonia instructor, and as Dean and Director of Pinecrest Lutheran Leadership School. Finding joy and purpose in caring for all of God’s people in a collaborative way, Egensteiner works closely with staff, pastors, deacons, congregations, and the community at large. He has served as Chaplain of the Pleasantville Volunteer Fire Department, and as Coordinator of the Pleasantville Clergy Association.
As an advocate for mutual learning and growth, Bishop Egensteiner “strives to make God the one that people see, and not me,” upholding positive change as the Lutheran Church increases and maintains its inclusive love and care for all of God’s children. With a pastoral style that sets the tone and model of a welcoming spirit, Bishop Egensteiner expresses that in “being trustworthy, thoughtful and loving, changes come more easily and with more acceptance. This style leads to the willingness of the community to take greater risks and be more innovative.”
Bishop Egensteiner was installed on November 16, 2019, at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City. Thanks be to God!