Rev Charles McMullen elected as next Presbyterian moderator
A CO Tyrone-born minister has been elected as the next moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Rev Charles McMullen, from Omagh, received nine votes from the church's 19 presbyteries last night.
Two other nominees, Rev Brian Boyd and Rev William Henry, received six and four votes respectively.
Mr McMullen (57), of West Church in Bangor, Co Down, said he was "simply overwhelmed" to have been elected.
He will be installed as the successor to current moderator, Dr Noble McNeely, at the opening night of the church's General Assembly on June 4.
Mr McMullen was educated at Omagh County Primary School and Omagh Academy and has degrees from Trinity College Dublin and St. Antony's College, Oxford.
He was ordained as an assistant minister in Harmony Hill, Lambeg, in 1988.
A married father-of-three, he said he was looking forward to his year in office.
"I have no doubt that I will have a very steep learning curve over these next few weeks, but I am looking forward to experiencing life throughout the denomination and beyond," he said.
"While it is true to say that in ministry you receive far more than you give, I want to spend as much time as possible drawing alongside people, listening to them and encouraging them."