The next Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland will be Rev Charles McMullen of West Church, Bangor, County Down.
The Church’s 19 presbyteries met independently across the island of Ireland on Tuesday evening to elect a successor to the current Moderator, Rev Dr Noble McNeely, from a list of three ministers.
Mr McMullen, now the Moderator-Designate, will officially take up office as the church’s most senior office bearer when he is formally installed in June.
The 57-year-old minister received nine votes and will be the church’s fifth Moderator to come from Bangor and the 179th since the election of its first moderator in 1840.
“I am simply overwhelmed to have been elected Moderator-Designate and commit myself to the Lord for His help and guidance over what I am sure will be an exciting, challenging and enriching year that lies ahead,” he said.
“I know I can draw on the prayers and good wishes of the entire denomination and much further afield. I hope I can be involved in a ministry of building relationships and offering encouragement, both within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and with others as I reach out in Christ’s name.”
The election takes place annually and this year there were three nominees who needed to receive a simple majority of votes from the 19 presbyteries to become Moderator-Designate. Rev Brian Boyd of Kells and Eskylane and Rev William Henry of Maze Presbyterian Church were also nominated.
Born in Omagh, Mr McMullen studied languages at Trinity College Dublin and Modern European History at Oxford.
He was licensed in Trinity Presbyterian, Omagh, ordained in Harmony Hill, Lambeg, before being called to Legacurry Presbyterian Church near Lisburn. In 1999 he became minister of Bangor West.
He is married to Barbara and they have three adult children and enjoy walking trips together. He enjoys reading and current affairs, watching Ulster play rugby with his son, following Chelsea Football Club and keeping fit. He contributes to denominational magazines and BBC Radio Ulster’s Thought for the Day.