Mark S. Hanson served as presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Before being elected presiding bishop, he served as bishop of the Saint Paul Area Synod. He had been elected to serve a second term in Saint Paul earlier that same year. Prior to being elected synod bishop, he served as pastor of three Minnesota congregations: Prince of Glory Lutheran Church, Minneapolis; Edina (Minnesota) Community Lutheran Church; and University Lutheran Church of Hope in Minneapolis.

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