Belfast Telegraph

Ministers prepare to vote for Moderator of Presbyterian Church

By Alf McCreary

Four ministers will contest this year's election for Presbyterian Moderator in February.

Members of the 19 Presbyteries in Ireland will vote for the four candidates, and the winner will take office at the opening night of the General Assembly in June, when current Moderator the Rt Rev Dr Frank Sellar will step down.

The four candidates are Rev Tony Davidson of First Armagh, who stood last year, Rev Charles McMullen from West Church Bangor, Rev Noble McNeely from First Holywood, and Rev Brian Boyd from Kells and Eskylane. All four have considerable experience in the Presbyterian Church.

Ministers and elders from the 539 congregations across Ireland will cast their votes on February 7, and traditionally the name of the successful candidate is announced the same evening.

Rev Trevor Gribben, Clerk of the General Assembly, said: "This is a relatively straightforward process, but if there is a tie, the Presbyteries will continue to meet that night until one minister is clearly ahead."

There have been four ties in the last 16 years, and most recently in 2014 when there was a three-way tie.

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