The Rev Ray Coster of Tauranga will be the next leader of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand.
Ray has been elected Moderator Designate and will take up the role of Moderator in late 2012. The result of the election was announced at General Assembly 2010 in Christchurch on Sunday 3 October.
Ray is the senior pastor of St Andrew’s Presbyterian in Mount Maunganui.
Born in Southland, he studied at the University of Otago and the Presbyterian Theological Hall. After completing his training in 1976, he ministered at Trinity Presbyterian in Timaru until 1985, when he shifted to St Andrew’s.
Ray says he feels strongly called to parish ministry. "Because I know how rewarding, and yet how difficult parish ministry can be, I look for ways to encourage and help others in ministry."
He is married to Judy and has four adult children.
Ray has previously been on the Council of Assembly and is currently chair of the Press Go Board, which oversees a radical new approach to growing the Church. Press Go distributes funds donated by Presbyterian churches to promising church growth projects.