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Presbyterian Church elects Moderator-designate

Presbyterian Church elects Moderator-designate

The Rev Richard Dawson of Dunedin will be the next leader of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Richard has been elected Moderator Designate and will take up the role of Moderator in late 2016. The result of the election was announced at the Church’s General Assembly 2014 in Auckland on Tuesday 7 October.

Richard is minister at St Stephens/Leith Valley Presbyterian Church in Dunedin.

Born in Dunedin, he studied at the University of Otago. After graduating in 1980 he worked as a forestry contractor and for Youth for Christ. He then studied at the Presbyterian Theological Hall completing his training in 1988.

Richard ministered at the South Otago Presbyterian church of Stirling/Kaitangata/ Lovell’s Flat from 1990 until 1999 when he returned to Dunedin to minister at Leith Valley Presbyterian Church.

In 2002 he helped to launch ‘studentsoul’, a ministry to students of the University of Otago and the Otago Polytech which is hosted by Stephens/Leith Valley Presbyterian.

He has served the Presbyterian Church as Moderator of the Presbyterian Synod of Otago & Southland, as well as on its Council of Assembly and National Assessment Committee, and was convener of the committee which created the Church’s new confession of faith, Kupu Whakapono.

Richard says he feels a deep sense of calling to the role of Moderator and will be looking to call the Presbyterian Church back to both prayer and unity.

“It is only in relationship with the Lord of the Church that we will find the ability to restore our relationship with one another and the heart of that first relationship is prayer.”

Richard is married to Fran. Over the past 25 years they have developed together a team ministry.


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