William “Bill” Horne II, vice president of the ELCA, died Aug. 14 of a suspected heart attack. Horne was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Clearwater, Fla. He served as city manager of Clearwater since 2001.

“Bill was a man of absolute integrity and a deep, living faith in the grace and love of Jesus. Bill embodied the Lutheran understanding of vocation as husband, father and city manager,” said ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton.

Horne was elected vice president by the 2016 ELCA Churchwide Assembly. The position is the highest a layperson can hold in the ELCA, and in this role Horne presided over the ELCA Church Council. In his reports to the council, he often spoke of his practice of meditating on the Sunday lessons “to hear what God is up to in my life, and how I might apply the word to my work vocation and daily walk with my congregation, family and neighbors.”

Horne also had served as the vice president of the Florida-Bahamas Synod and on the ELCA Church Council as a member. “Bill was energized by being the churchwide representative to synod assemblies. His leadership was strong, thoughtful and wise,” Eaton said.

Following his election in 2016, Horne told the assembly, “Brothers and sisters, I love this church. I love you. We have a lot of work to do, and I know that our dedication and our commitment to each other and our hard work will make the ELCA what God wants us to be.”

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