The Rev Michael Barry has been elected moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland.
He is minister of Sandys Street church in Newry, Co Down.
Dr Barry, 63, was elected in a second round of voting after the first round had resulted in a three way tie between Dr Barry, Rev Liz Hughes of Whitehouse and the minister of Trinity, Ballymoney, Rev Ian McNie.
Mr Barry said: "I am very surprised but pleased that the Presbyterian Church has put its confidence in me and seen fit to give me the honour of serving as moderator.
"I look forward to encouraging the Church and its people in their ministry as I have the opportunity to travel around Ireland and visit congregations and meet people engaged in ministry and mission."