In their own unique approach to choosing the Moderator of the next General Assembly, all the the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland meet simultaneously on the first Tuesday of February and chose their candidate from those on the official ballot. And so, having waited for the report from Church House in Belfast, we now know that The Rev. Frank Sellar will be the 177th Moderator of the General Assembly. And unlike the last few years, this vote was not even close with 18 of the 19 presbyteries endorsing Rev. Sellar.
In a post-election quote he says:
“It has been a huge privilege to have been involved in a lifetime of leadership in local congregations, south and north. I’m humbled that the wider church has trusted me with this responsibility, granting fresh opportunities of mission, which this year as Moderator of the General Assembly will bring, not only serving the wider church, but society throughout the whole of Ireland and further afield.”
Rev. Sellar is currently the pastor at Bloomfield Presbyterian Church in East Belfast. A Belfast News Letter article last week described his theological leanings saying he is “an evangelical conservative.”
At this time I will note that one of his distinctions is that he has ministered in both the Republic of Ireland (“the south”) and in Northern Ireland – twenty years in the former and eleven years in the latter. And on a personal note I found it encouraging that his wife is an occupational therapist as I seem to accumulate physical and occupational therapists in my family.
I will write more tomorrow after the traditional statement and press conference as well as the local press reaction.
But, we do extend to Rev. Sellar our congratulations and prayers as he prepares to moderate the upcoming General Assembly as well as for his whole moderatorial year.