General Assembly Mission Council Executive Director Linda Bryant Valentine today announced that the Rev. Roger Dermody has agreed to accept the position of deputy executive director for mission. In this position, Dermody will oversee the council's mission activities.
Dermody has served as a pastor for 13 years, including the past nine years as executive pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church, a thriving 3,000-member congregation in Los Angeles, Calif., where he manages and oversees the senior leadership and the day-to-day ministry of a staff of 67 employees and an annual budget of $9.8 million.
"I am humbled and thrilled," said Dermody, "to be able to serve the church in this way. The GAMC is engaged in areas of incredible and highly strategic ministry. I'm excited by the challenge of partnering with our middle governing bodies and our churches, getting the word out more effectively, working together more harmoniously, and celebrating together the good things that God is doing in us and through us."
"Roger is an ideal candidate for the deputy executive director for mission role," said Valentine.
"He has been a strategic leader and an innovative executive pastor, with significant experience bringing people together for open and engaging planning and work — focusing a complex organization on where God is calling it to ministry," she continued. "He has led a broad range of congregational, local and international mission endeavors, and demonstrated a deep passion and commitment to witnessing faithfully to the Gospel."
As a child, Dermody lived in Cameroon with his parents, who were short-term missionaries. Their two years in Cameroon fueled a lifelong passion for mission. After a first career as an architect, Dermody responded to a call to ministry in 1991, entering Fuller Theological Seminary, anticipating that he would work in international cross-cultural ministry. While in seminary, Dermody accepted a collegiate ministries position at Bel Air Presbyterian, providing leadership which saw the college ministry grow from 30 participants to 300, and a contemporary worship service which started with 75 worshipers and grew to more than 1,000 weekly.
Dermody's work expanded to include developing global and national partnerships, when he became associate pastor of students and mission. In 2001, he became executive pastor, overseeing the pastoral staff and day-to-day ministry. Dermody has also led numerous short-term mission trips.
"I truly believe that our mission and message are compelling," said Dermody, "because they are Christ's mission and message. I like to envision the PC(USA) not merely as reversing the steady stream of membership loss, but one day truly becoming a turn-around denomination — one that other denominations point to and learn from because somehow, by God's grace, we figured it out. We understood how to serve together. People got excited about the relevant and effective ways that our denomination brought the hope of the Gospel to a broken world."
The General Assembly Mission Council will be asked to confirm Dermody in May; he will then begin work in June.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) comprises more than 2 million members in more than 10,000 congregations, answering Christ's call to mission and ministry throughout the United States and the world.