From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Jeffrey Bridgeman elected chair of General Assembly Council

Date 24 Feb 2001 09:07:21

Note #6396 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Jeffrey Bridgeman elected chair of General Assembly Council

by Bill Lancaster

LOUISVILLE -- The Rev. Jeffrey Bridgeman, 44-year-old evangelical pastor
from Solvan, California, was elected chair of the General Assembly Council
(GAC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on the second ballot today.  The
Rev. Adelia D. (Dede) Kelso of Pearl River, Louisiana, was elected vice
chair, also on a second ballot. They begin their one-year term following the
General Assembly in June.

	Bridgeman, who is 6'8" tall, has been pastor of the Santa Ynez Valley
Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara Presbytery for 11 years.  He is a
graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1983.

	He said it was "kinda scary" to be elected chair of GAC.  "I came not sure
whether I would run or not and very content with what I am doing."  He has
served on the GAC Executive Committee, GAC Nominating Committee, as liaison
to the Congregational Ministries Division Committee, as chairman of the
Evangelism Committee of the National Ministries Division Committee.  "My
vision of this work has expanded," he said. He is in his fifth year on the

	"I appreciate all the people who are praying.  People said, 'are you
thinking about running?' I said, 'I'm open to it, will you pray?'  I've run
before.  I just wanted to be very open to what God wanted to do.  It's a
blessing, and God has put me in this place.  God's Spirit and God's strength
will lead me in it, and I will rely on God."

	He attributes his passion for the Presbyterian Church to Dr. Jack Rogers,
who taught Presbyterian ethos at Fuller.  Bridgeman said Rogers taught them
"'if you want to effect the church, get involved.'"

	Bridgeman said in a news conference after the election one of his main
concerns is "how we live and work together after the Louisville Assembly.  I
feel like I'm flexible enough and able to move in different groups so we'll
be able to work together."  He said, "the mark of this church has to be how
we live and work together, even when our position isn't the majority
position.  I am often the evangelical, quote unquote, that people meet, and
they say, 'you don't have fangs and you're not going to bite someone's head
off.'  I value that.  I value being able to work with people I don't agree

	Kelso has served on the Future Church Envisioning Task Force,
Congregational Ministries Division Committee, National Ministries Division
Committee, GAC Executive Committee, and the Advisory Committee on the News. 
She has been pastor of the Northminster Presbyterian Church in Pearl River
for eight years.  She received a M.Div. degree from Union Theological
Seminary in Virginia, a Th.M. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta,
and a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh.

	Of here election, she said she was "very honored and glad to serve the
church in any way I can."

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