The General Assembly Mission Council unanimously voted today to confirm the Rev. Roger Dermody as the deputy executive director for mission of the GAMC, one of the six agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
"He will be a great addition to our staff here," said Linda Valentine, executive director of the GAMC.
Valentine announced Dermody’s selection in April. He succeeds the Rev. Tom Taylor, who left the position in December to be the president and CEO of the Presbyterian Foundation.
In his new position, Dermody will oversee the GAMC's mission activities. He'll also oversee the office of Research Services, which will be a new responsibility for that position, Valentine said.
In searching for candidates, Valentine said it was important to find someone with strong faith, a strong commitment to the church, strong leadership and experience in internal and external relationships, personnel management, fundraising and budgeting.
Another critical quality for Valentine was personal chemistry because she works very closely with the deputy executive director for mission.
"Roger does give me energy, and he’s smart, he's personable, he's creative," she said.
Dermody has been a pastor for 13 years, the past nine of which he has spent as executive pastor of Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. That church has a staff of 67 and an annual budget of $9.8 million.
Dermody said he comes to the position with a "deep sense of call and a profound sense of humility."
The PC(USA) faces many challenges, including budget cuts and layoffs that will be announced at this week's GAMC meeting. Dermody acknowledged this, and said he is excited to build on the work that many have done in order to move the denomination forward. He wants the PC(USA) to be known as a "turn-around" denomination, he said.
"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," he said in a press release announcing his selection.