By Delores McDonald
Canadian Presbytery’s Jeff King- swood received a unanimous vote on the floor of Synod on Thursday to serve as Synod’s Moderator for the 2013-2014 term, following Dr. Steve Suits. He is the first Canadian to be elected to the (Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church) Synod’s highest post.
Moderator-elect Kingswood, who grew up in the First Reformed Church in Galt, Ontario, went on to receive the M.Div. Degree from Knox College in Toronto. He pursued additional Bible studies at Tyndale Seminary. He became pastor of St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church of Canada and eventually became pastor of Grace ARP Church in Woodstock in 2001. He continues to serve that congregation. He is married to Joan and they have six grown children.
In his acceptance speech, Kingswood said as a relative newcomer of only 12 years to the denomination, he was “truly humbled” to be nominated. As a member of the Presbyterian Church of Canada before joining the ARPC, he wanted delegates to know what drew the Canadian Presbytery to this denomination.
“What struck us here was a group that embodied confessional Presbyterianism,” he said. “The Word of God was central, preached, and used to make argument – and I felt I had come home. Thank you for welcoming the Canadian Presbytery. The fact that I’m the first Canadian to be elected to the office of Moderator of General Synod speaks highly of your welcoming spirit.”
Kingswood also asked for prayer for the Lord to give grace and guidance to him in his role as Moderator. “We have difficult issues ahead of us. We have a history that points us in the right direction, but we are not defined by our history.
“We would have the world look at us and say, ‘they have been with Jesus’ – and not only for our programs or worship services. We want others to know Jesus – and if others see Jesus in the life of our congregations, we can accomplish what we have been sent to do – to call others to a new life of repentance.”