Craig elected as next Presbyterian Moderator
The next Moderator of the Presbyterian Church will be Rev Rob Craig (58), minister of Kilfennan Presbyterian Church, Londonderry.
Dr Craig was nominated by 17 out of the 19 presbyteries which met this evening throughout Ireland to vote for a new Moderator and will take up office on the 3 June in succession to Dr Roy Patton who continues as Moderator until that time.
Rev John Dickinson, minister of the Carnmoney congregation received the remaining two nominations.
Commenting on his election Dr Craig who has been minister of Kilfennan for the last 19 years said, "Personally I am deeply humbled and honoured to be elected Moderator and am delighted for the congregations andmembers within the Presbytery of Derry and Donegal and west of the Bann ingeneral for whom this a clear sign of support from the wider Presbyterian Church."
It is fitting that as Moderator Dr Craig will chair the 2013 General Assembly when it meets in his home city of Londonderry.
Two years ago the General Assembly took the decision to meet there to mark Londonderry's year as UK City of Culture. It is the first time in 22 years that the Assembly has met out of Belfast and it was 1933 when it last met in Derry.
No detailed plans have been announced yet for the Assembly other than the opening and business sessions will be held in the Millennium Forum from Monday 3rd June until Thursday 6th June.
Voting for each candidate was as follows:
Rev Rob Craig (Kilfennan, Londonderry) 17 Votes
Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, South Belfast, Carrickfergus, Coleraine/Limavady, Derry/Donegal, Down, Dromore, Dublin/Munster, Iveagh, Monaghan, Newry, Omagh, Route, Templepatrick, Tyrone.
Rev John Dickinson (Carnmoney) 2 Votes
North Belfast, East Belfast.
Rev Rob Craig (58) has been minister of the Kilfennan Congregation in Londonderry since 1994.
He describes his ministry as open, welcoming and caring, encouraging people to be good neighbours. "At Kilfennan we think of ourselves as a church in the community, Presbyterian in our practice, but where we hope to be salt and light to people from all backgrounds," says Dr Craig.
This is evident from the strong emphasis of the 350 family strong congregation in its weekly programme of activities involving everyone from mums and tots, younger children, teenagers, runningmen's and women's groups and conducting a weekly ministry in a nearby residential home for older people.
Robert Lyle Craig was born in Magherafelt on 21st April 1954. He was educated at Armstrong Primary School in Armagh and Wallace High School, Lisburn, and attended Lowe Memorial Presbyterian Church in Finaghy.
After completing a BA degree at Queens University, Belfast, he joined the Christian missionary organization Operation Mobilisation and served with them in the Bihar region in the north of India for three years working in street mission and literature distribution.
He completed his training for the Presbyterian ministry at Union Theological College in Belfast gaining a Divinity degree before being ordained in 1983.
After serving as assistant minister in Glengormley, he was called to be minister of the Co Down congregations of Clough and Seaforde in 1985 and nine years later became the minister of Kilfennan. In 2012 he graduated with a Doctor in Ministry also from Union Theological College.
Dr Craig is married to Karen with two daughters Rachel and Hannah. Away from church life he is a sports fan who has "come late to golf" and is particularly interested in rugby as well as enjoying a good film.