Three ministers are in the running for Irish Presbyterian Church moderatorship this year.
The moderator will be chosen by the 19 Irish presbyteries on Tuesday, February 19, succeeding the present moderator the Rev Dr Noble McNeely, who stands down in June.
The ministers going forward are the Rev Brian Boyd, of Kells and Eskylane Churches, Co Antrim; the Rev William Henry, of Maze Church, Co Down, and the Rev Charles McMullen, of Bangor West.
The Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly and Presbyterian Church general secretary, said the Church’s 19 presbyteries will meet at different locations.
“There is a wonderful rhythm to the life of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and the first Tuesday in February is the first key event of the year for us, as ministers and elders from our 535 congregations across Ireland meet in their respective presbyteries to nominate our next moderator.
“The vote in each presbytery is by simple majority. This means that whoever receives the most votes within a particular presbytery receives the single vote of that presbytery. The minister who receives the majority of these votes from the 19 presbyteries, becomes our moderator-designate until their formal nomination and election as moderator by the General Assembly.”
Should there be a tie in the number of presbytery votes received on the first count, presbyteries will continue to meet that night until one minister is clearly ahead.
The moderator will preach most Sundays in congregations across Ireland, encouraging them in their work and witness during three week-long presbytery tours, while undertaking an overseas tour.
Mr Gribben said the moderator will not be the head of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. “Our constitution clearly states that ‘The Lord Jesus Christ is the sole King and Head of the Church…’”