Scott Means, 41, has been called as the new bishop in the Lodi First Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He replaces Scott Hart, who has been bishop for the past five years, the typical amount of time for a bishop to serve.

In the LDS Church, a bishop is the leader of a local congregation known as a ward, with duties similar to those of a pastor, priest or rabbi. He is a member of the congregation who has been asked by church authorities to serve, and the position is unpaid.

Bishop Means is an investment adviser representative for Transamerica Financial Advisors.

Bishop Means will be assisted by two counselors, Jim Cook Jr. and John Robison. Together, this "bishopric" will oversee the spiritual and social needs of their ward members (a geographical section of Lodi south of Kettleman Lane).

In addition to spiritual matters, a bishop helps members who are struggling financially or in other ways to become self-reliant through welfare assistance. He also works directly with youths, encouraging them to grow and develop into spiritual, well-adjusted and productive adults.

Previous church callings have given Bishop Means experience in leadership. He has been Lodi Stake Young Men's president, a bishop's counselor, Elders Quorum president and Ward Young Men's President.

As a 19-year-old, Bishop Means served a two-year LDS mission in Brussels, Belgium, and then graduated from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Jill, a graphic artist, have five children.

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