A third candidate has emerged for the post of moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s 221st General Assembly (GA).
Teaching Elder Kelly Allen, pastor of University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, Texas, was endorsed as a moderator candidate by Mission Presbytery during its March 1 meeting following a resolution from her church in support of her candidacy.
Mission Presbytery serves 152 churches, fellowships and new church developments in south-central Texas.
Allen has been pastor at University Presbyterian, a congregation of more than 300 members, since 2009. She also served as the pastor for St. Andrew’s United Reformed Church in Gerrard’s Cross, Buckinghamshire, England (2007-2009), after calls at First Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Mo. (1997-2007), and First Presbyterian Church in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. (1992-1997).
She holds degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and the University of Birmingham in England. She also served as adjunct faculty instructor at Eden Theological Seminary from 2003-2007. Allen and her spouse, John Rezentes, have two children.
In a statement on her web site, Allen wrote, “I am honored to have received Mission Presbytery’s endorsement as a candidate for Moderator of the 221st General Assembly of the PCUSA. Through 22 years of pastoral ministry I have found profound joy in sharing leadership and ministry with congregations I have been privileged to serve. I want to share this experience far and wide. Though I am well aware of the polarization and declining membership within the denomination, I am not despondent about the future. I believe a strong witness to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can give us a witness beyond our numbers.”
Allen listed the following three leadership commitments she deems necessary in the role of GA moderator:
1-A commitment to spiritual practices.
2-A desire to build community among strangers.
3-A willingness to be bold and bodily witnesses to Gospel values.
“I believe when these are in balance, there is vibrant humanity at an individual level, and vibrant life at a congregational and denominational level,” Allen wrote on the site. “These three emphases offer the invitation to think, not in terms of the polarities of social justice/evangelism, liberal/conservative, centralized/decentralized, but integrate the best of all of these perspectives, while looking at the fruit of our words and deeds in the world.”
She also has a Facebook video that further discusses her candidacy for the moderator’s post and beliefs she has related to the work of the PCUSA and its future.
Allen joins John Wilkinson and Heath Rada as candidates for the moderator’s position.
Wilkinson, pastor of Third Presbyterian Church in Rochester, N.Y., since 2001, was endorsed during the November 2013 presbytery meeting of Genesee Valley.
Rada, a member of Grace Presbyterian Church in Asheville, N.C., is the other candidate for the moderator’s position at this time. Rada was endorsed by the Presbytery of Western North Carolina in April 2013.
The elected moderator for the General Assembly, scheduled for June 14-21, 2014, in Detroit, Mich., will facilitate the business meetings of the assembly and then will become the voice and face of the denomination for the next two years, traveling, speaking and representing the PCUSA, succeeding Neal Presa, who was elected as moderator for the 220th GA in 2012.