The Rev. Jack Rogers, moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA, will come to Utah next week. He will preach at a worship service on Friday, Sept. 28, at 7:30 p.m., at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 796 South Mountain Road, Fruit Heights. On Saturday, Sept. 29, Rogers will address the Utah Presbytery at 9:10 a.m. at the same location. The public is welcome both times.
The Rev. Neal Humphrey, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, says the visit is a rare occasion. (The last moderator to visit Utah was Patricia Brown, of the 1997 General Assembly.) Humphrey explained that the moderator is a person elected at the annual General Assembly of the church and who then goes on to preside over the activities and business of the church for a year, until the next General Assembly.
In order to ensure fair representation, the General Assembly usually elects a minister to be the moderator one year and elects a lay leader the next year, Humphrey said. Rogers is a minister and a lifelong Presbyterian and is considered one of the leading scholars on the church's historic confessions of faith.
Rogers was born in 1934, in Lincoln, Neb., and graduated from the University of Nebraska and then the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He then received a fellowship to study in the Netherlands and earned a doctorate in theology from the Free University of Amsterdam.
He taught at Westminster College in Pennsylvania, at the non-denominational Fuller Theological Seminary in California and at the San Francisco Theological Seminary, before retiring from teaching in 2000.
Rogers is a conservative theologian, who many believe will be able to bridge the differences among Presbyterians.