From the Worldwide Faith News archives

First Moderator Candidate Named

Date 04 May 1996 20:40:53


95343            First Moderator Candidate Named 
                    for 208th General Assembly 
                          by Alexa Smith 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--A California pastor has been endorsed as the first 
candidate for moderator of the 208th General Assembly, slated to convene in 
Albuquerque, N.M., in July. 
     The Rev. Norman D. Pott, Ph.D., has been endorsed by First 
Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, Calif., and the Presbytery of the 
     According to the Rev. Brian Tippen, executive of Redwoods Presbytery, 
Pott's nomination was supported by a "very strong majority."  Tippen said 
Potts is known as a compassionate leader with a broad vision of the church 
who sees the need to continually define mission for a new period.  "He 
knows pastoral ministry ... he knows congregational life and the challenges 
there," Tippen told the Presbyterian News Service. 
     Pott earned his bachelor of arts in Bible from Wheaton College.  In 
his senior year, he was named to the National Association of 
Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) All-America basketball team and was a 
sixth-round draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers.  Pott instead chose to 
enter Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned a bachelor of 
divinity in 1957, and the Ph.D. was conferred on him by the University of 
Edinburgh in Scotland three years later. 
     Currently serving his ninth year as senior pastor at First 
Presbyterian Church in San Rafael, Pott has also served several other 
congregations on the West Coast, including Central Presbyterian Church in 
Eugene, Ore.; Community Presbyterian Church in Davis, Calif.; and First 
Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. 
     He was the first moderator of the Presbytery of the Cascades in 1973. 
     According to Pott, the basic issue in the church right now is "whether 
we are going to move forward or stand still.  
     "I feel there's a lot of discouragement in the church because of 
diminishing numbers and dollars. But I tend to see the church as being led 
by the risen Christ ... and the basic mood of the church should be one of 
celebration," Pott said, insisting that Christians must simultaneously 
reckon with the reality that the church is surrounded by a society that is 
indifferent or even resistant to its mission and message. "What that 
means," he said, "is that the mission of the church is not only somewhere 
across the world but immediately outside the church door." 
     Pott describes the local congregation as "where the action is," and 
says the denomination's resources need to be more deliberately directed 
there.  "It's a time of high adventure," he told the Presbyterian News 
Service.  "[Our] mission has come to the doorstep of the church." 
     Pott is a member of the adjunct faculty of San Francisco Theological 
Seminary, has served on the board of trustees at Princeton Theological 
Seminary and is a life trustee at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Ore. 
     He and his wife, Enid, live in San Rafael and are the parents of four 
grown children. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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