San Antonio pastor is third candidate for GA moderator

Mission Presbytery endorses the Rev. Kelly Allen

March 13, 2014

Kelly Allen

The Rev. Kelly Allen —Courtesy of University Presbyterian Church


The Rev. Kelly Allen, pastor of University Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, has been endorsed by Mission Presbytery to stand for moderator of the upcoming 221st General Assembly, June 14-21 in Detroit.

Allen is the third moderatorial candidate, joining Ruling Elder Heath Rada of Western North Carolina Presbytery and the Rev. John Wilkinson of Genessee Valley Presbytery in New York.

Allen has served the 300-member University Presbyterian Church since 2009. She has also served churches in Missouri and in Buckinghamshire, England since her ordination in 1992. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia Theological Seminary.  She also holds a degree from the University of Birmingham in England. 

She holds degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., and the University of Birmingham in England. She also served as adjunct faculty instructor at Eden Theological Seminary from 2003-2007. Allen and her spouse, John Rezentes, have two children.

In a statement on her web site, Allen wrote, “Through 22 years of pastoral ministry I have found profound joy in sharing leadership and ministry with congregations I have been privileged to serve. I want to share this experience far and wide. Though I am well aware of the polarization and declining membership within the denomination, I am not despondent about the future. I believe a strong witness to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit can give us a witness beyond our numbers.”

Allen listed three leadership commitments she deems necessary for a GA moderator: a commitment to spiritual practices, a desire to build community among strangers and a willingness to be bold and bodily witnesses to Gospel values.

“I believe when these are in balance, there is vibrant humanity at an individual level, and vibrant life at a congregational and denominational level,” Allen wrote. “These three emphases offer the invitation to think, not in terms of the polarities of social justice/evangelism, liberal/conservative, centralized/decentralized, but integrate the best of all of these perspectives, while looking at the fruit of our words and deeds in the world.”

  1. As a former Presbyterian it isn't hard to understand why your membership is declining due to your stance on gay marriage. How can the "transforming power of the Holy Spirit" work when when the moderator makes claims to "Gospel Values," all the time voting in favor of homosexuality, a practice that incurs the wrath of God--which He calls an abomination, and sin? If God calls it sin, who are we to call it good? Adopting this stance is accepting worldly standards-- doing what is right in our own eyes---is definitely not of God! The Presbyterian Church, and it's willing participants will be judged and held accountable for this bold affront to God's Holy Word! Think seriously while there is still time!

    by Arlene Kelly

    March 18, 2015

  2. I agree with James P. Shuman's common sense advise to not have candidates for Moderator of the GA..throw names "into a hat, " moderate and go home, no fanfare, no political ramifications...Let's practice what we preach, for a change...Qualified and compassionate leaders abound who know how to moderate and follow our Book of Order and SERVE the PCUSA. Perhaps those who shy away from the fuss/ordeal of being "chosen/elected" by the current GA voting ritual and popularity contest would trust more in the guiding Providence of their name being drawn from among others who offered their reviewed and commendable skills, time and service.

    by Rev. Heather Jordan Khan

    June 11, 2014

  3. I wish we didn't have candidates for moderator. But we would simply throw the name of each commissioner in a hat, so to speak, and the person whose name is drawn becomes the moderator for that GA. And at the end of the GA the moderator goes home and that's it. No politics, no term of office beyond the meeting, no going to see the Pope or President. Moderate a meeting and go home. And each and every commissioner should be able to moderate a meeting. Sounds oddly Biblical to me.

    by james p shuman

    May 19, 2014