The Rev. Eric G. Nielsen, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire, Wisc., has been unanimously endorsed by Northern Waters Presbytery to stand for moderator of the upcoming 219th General Assembly, July 3-10 in Minneapolis. The presbytery took its action May 6.

He joins three other candidates for the Assembly’s top post — the Rev. Jin Kim of Minneapolis in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area; Elder Cynthia Bolbach of Washington, D.C. in National Capital Presbytery; and the Rev. Maggie Lauterer, pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Burnsville, N.C. in Western North Carolina Presbytery.

Nielsen, who has served as pastor of First-Eau Claire since July of 2001, is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He was ordained to the ministry in 1991.

He previously served pastorates in East Moline, Ill., and Conrad, Iowa.

Nielsen's service to synod and presbytery is extensive. After serving for a year as vice-moderator of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, he served as the synod’s moderator in 2006. He has also chaired the synod’s Finance Committee.

In Northern Waters Presbytery he has chaired the Program Strategy Committee and served on the Finance and Budget Committee and the Permanent Judicial Commission. He also served on the Permanent Judicial Commission of Great Rivers Presbytery and chaired the Committee on Preparation for Ministry of North Central Iowa Presbytery.

Nielsen is a volunteer police chaplain in Eau Claire and has also served on boards overseeing health care and ecumenical ministry in the community.