The Rev. Robert Austell, a candidate for moderator of this summer’s 220th General Assembly, has named his running mate.
The Rev. Hope Italiano Lee of Peace River Presbytery will stand for vice moderator alongside Austell.
Pastor of Kirkwood Presbyterian Church in Bradenton, Fl., Lee is a fourth-generation Presbyterian and holds degrees from Eckerd College and Princeton, Columbia and Gordon-Conwell seminaries. She has also served congregations in Florida and Pennsylvania and was active in youth and camp and conference ministries before being ordained.
“When I began looking for a vice moderator candidate, I looked for someone with a proven record of biblical teaching, leadership, vision, and compassion,” Austell said in a press release. “Searching widely for these qualities, I was pleased to meet Hope last fall and find a gifted woman with a love for Jesus Christ, her family, her congregation, and her wider community.
Lee lives in Bradenton, Fl., with her husband, the Rev. Sung Ho Lee, a chaplain and member of the staff at Kirkwood. They have two children.
Austell, who was endorsed by the Presbytery of Charlotte, is the third moderatorial candidate to name a running mate. The Rev. Neal Presa (Elizabeth Presbytery) has named the Rev. Tara Spuhler McCabe of National Capital Presbytery as his running mate. The Rev. Sue Krummel (Great Rivers Presbytery) has named the Rev. Sanghyuan James Lee of Trinity Presbytery as her pick.
Two other announced moderatorial candidates ― the Rev. Randy Branson of Palo Duro Presbyery and the Rev. Janet Edwards of Pittsburgh Presbytery (though not endorsed by that presbytery) ― have yet to announce their vice-moderator running mates.