The latest candidate to stand for moderator of the 219th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was named yesterday.
The Presbytery of Western North Carolina endorsed the Rev. Maggie Palmer Lauterer to stand for moderator at its presbytery meeting.
Lauterer is the third candidate for the moderator position, joining the Rev. Jin S. Kim (Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area) and Elder Cynthia Bolbach (National Capital Presbytery). The new moderator will be elected July 3, the first day of the weeklong biennial meeting in Minneapolis. The winner will succeed the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th GA.
Since 1999, Lauterer has served as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Burnsville, N.C. A second-career pastor, Lauterer came to the ministry after working in newspaper, magazine and television journalism. She also made an unsuccessful run for Congress, being the first woman to run for a congressional seat in western North Carolina.
“I do not believe that growth of the Church has as much to do with age and location as it does with our openness to the transformative powers of the Holy Spirit as we are called toward new frontiers — the new front lines of being Christ’s Church, of “doing Christ’s Church” in the light of the radical love Christ has taught us. That standard will be my standard,” Lauterer said in an essay.
Lauterer’s experience, listening skills and “enthusiasm and passion for growing small churches” make her a good candidate for moderator, said the Rev. Bobbi White, general presbyter of the Western North Carolina. “We think she would make a wonderful moderator,” White said.
Lauterer’s small church is 113 years old and had split twice in the 10 years before she arrived. The congregation has grown by 300 percent during her tenure.
Lauterer earned her MDiv. from Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education. She has served in a variety of ways in her presbytery, including a term as moderator. She currently serves on the Committee on Ministry. She also served as a commissioner to 218th GA (2008).
Lauterer is married to Zack Allen and has two children and two grandchildren.