Meet the Office of the Bishop staff
Bishop, Allegheny Synod
Bishop Paula J. Schmitt is the fourth bishop of the Allegheny Synod, elected to serve a six-year term which began September 1, 2021. Bishop Paula grew up in Lebanon County and is the youngest child of Michael and Brenda Lebo. She was a graphic design major at Pennsylvania School of Art and Design in Lancaster, PA and later earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts from Lebanon Valley College in Annville, PA. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in 2005 and was ordained on July 27, 2008. She served her first call at Trinity Lutheran in Sidman and St. John Lutheran in Summerhill, both in the Johnstown Conference of the Allegheny Synod. In 2010 she was called to serve as interim pastor at Bethany Lutheran in Altoona and in 2012 was called as the full-time pastor there. She served as assistant to the bishop from 2014-2020. In August 2020 Bishop Paula accepted a call to serve as intentional interim at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Latrobe in the Southwestern PA Synod. In June 2021, the Allegheny Synod called her to serve as bishop.
Bishop Paula has one son, Samuel, who is grown and lives in New York. Bishop Paula is an avid reader, continues to create art and enjoys trying new recipes.
Michelle is an Altoona native graduating in 1989 from Altoona Area High School with an emphasis in business. Prior to coming to the Synod office in 2001, she worked as an insurance agent and in banking. As Synod Office Manager, she has a wide range of responsibilities including financial data entry, website maintenance, database management, calendar administration, congregational, rostered leaders and financial records management, office communications, and oversight of the day-to-day operations of the Synod office. She is married and has two children.