From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[PCUSANEWS] Houston pastor is 1st candidate for moderator

Date Mon, 25 Aug 2003 22:59:31 -0500

Note #7895 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:

Houston pastor is 1st candidate for moderator
August 25, 2003

Houston pastor is 1st candidate for moderator

Grace PC's McKechnie endorsed by New Covenant Presbytery

By John Filiatreau

LOUISVILLE - The Rev. David Garth McKechnie, pastor of Grace Presbyterian
Church in Houston, TX, has become the first candidate for moderator of the
216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The Presbytery of New Covenant voted unanimously to endorse his candidacy on
Aug. 23. His presenter, the Rev. Gerald Hurst, pastor of Southminster
Presbyterian Church in Missouri City, TX, called McKechnie "one who will work
with both sides of the aisle toward the peace, unity and purity of the church
... (and) the healing and reconciliation of the church."

The Rev. David Garth McKechnie

  Because of the shift to having Assemblies only every other year, the
moderator elected next June at the GA in Richmond, VA, will be the first to
serve a two-year term.

McKechnie, 63, an avid skier, had surgery Monday on a shoulder he dislocated
in an accident on the slopes last year.

He is a native of Ottawa, Canada, who was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in
1972. He has a bachelor's degree from Nyack College in New York and has
studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He earned his Master of
Divinity degree from an ecumenical program at New York Theological Seminary,
Union Seminary and General Theological Seminary, all in New York City.

After ordination in the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of
America (the old northern church), he joined the staff of First Presbyterian
Church in Flushing, NY, and while there obtained a degree in psychology and
counseling from Princeton Theological Seminary. He also has an honorary
Doctor of Divinity degree from Montreat-Anderson College in North Carolina.

After serving on the staff of First Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, OK,
McKechnie became pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Beaumont, TX,
in 1975. He became the pastor of 4,300-member Grace Church in Houston, a
Confessing Church Movement congregation, in 1981.

For many years, Grace was among the fastest-growing churches in the PC(USA).
Membership declined by about 200 in 2002, when average attendance at worship
was about 1,500 and more than 2,950 people were enrolled in Christian
education programs.

McKechnie has served on the boards of trustees of The Texas Presbyterian
Foundation, the Medical Benevolence Foundation, Austin College, Schreiner
College and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

He was the Presbyterian representative on the radio program The Protestant
Hour (now called Day 1) in 1992, and has written two inspirational books:
Experiencing God's Pleasure and Let's Start Over.

McKechnie and his wife, the former Linda Marsh, a musician and recording
artist, have two children: Sheri, a graduate of Houston Baptist University
who lives in Charlotte, NC; and the Rev. Peter McKechnie, a graduate of
Columbia Theological Seminary and a Presbyterian minister.

(The web version of this story contains a picture and may be viewed at

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