Honorary degree for Presbyterian Moderator

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Local minister, Rev William Henry of Maze Presbyterian Church, who was recently appointed as the new Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland, has received an honorary doctorate.

The degree of Doctorate of Divinity was conferred upon him by the Presbyterian Theological Faculty, Ireland (PTFI) at its annual graduation ceremony at the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Assembly Buildings in Belfast.

Dr Henry was one of a number of recipients of various awards, which included five ministry students at Union Theological College (UTC) graduating with Postgraduate Diploma in Ministry and two students graduating with Graduate Certificates in Youth Ministry.

The citation was delivered by Rev Professor Michael McClenahan, Professor of Systematic Theology at UTC, who spoke about the years that he had known the Moderator, which included an eight week placement in Dr Henry’s Maze congregation as part of his application for the ministry.

Describing him as his “respected brother in Jesus Christ and as a minister of the Gospel of God”, Professor McClenahan also spoke of the Dr Henry’s clear sense of God’s call on his life to the ministry. This included serving in Whiteabbey Presbyterian Church, as Assistant Minister to Rev Trevor Gribben, who is now Clerk of the General Assembly, and Dr Henry’s call to Maze Presbyterian Church in 1997. He also told those gathered in the Assembly Hall of Dr Henry’s close involvement with the local community, and his 20 year service on the Board of Governors of Meadow Bridge Primary School, of which he was chairman for many years.

Dr Henry was officially installed as Moderator at the General Assembly at the beginning of June.