For the past 23 years David McKechnie, 64, has been pastor of 4,300-member Grace church, Houston, Texas, which has grown steadily during most of his tenure there. A native of Canada, he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1972. He holds a divinity degree through an ecumenical program of New York Theological Seminary, Union Seminary (N.Y.) and General Theological Seminary, all of New York city. He also holds a master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Princeton Seminary.
He started his ministerial career on the staff of First church, Tulsa, Okla., then was pastor of St. Andrews church, Beaumont, Texas, for six years before being called to lead Grace church, Houston. He has served on the boards of the Texas Presbyterian Foundation, the Outreach Foundation, the Medical Benevolence Foundation, Mo-Ranch Conference Center, Austin College, Schreiner College and Austin Seminary.
McKechnie is the author of Experiencing God’s Pleasure (1989) and Let’s Start Over (1994). He was the Presbyterian preacher for the Protestant Hour in 1992. His wife, Linda Marsh McKechnie, is an accomplished musician, arranger, composer and recording artist. They have a son, Peter McKechnie, the current interim associate pastor at Second church, Knoxville, Tenn.; and a daughter, Sheri Joseph, of Charlotte, N.C.
K. C. PTOMEY JR.
A pastor for more than three decades, K. C. Ptomey, 62, has served Westminster church, Nashville, Tenn., a congregation of 1,800 members, since 1981. The Birmingham, Ala., native holds a doctorate of ministry from McCormick Seminary, a bachelor of divinity from Louisville Seminary and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Rhodes College (Tenn.).
His earlier pastorates included the Collierville (Tenn.) church; First church, Henderson, Texas; and First church, Arlington, Texas. Ptomey has twice before been a General Assembly commissioner, in 1973 and 1999, and served a six-year term on the General Assembly Council. He has also served on the boards of Schreiner College (Texas), Louisville Seminary and Rhodes College. He has been a keynote speaker for the Montreat Youth Conferences and a preacher for Montreat’s Worship and Music, and Bible and Theology conferences.
He has written articles and book reviews for a variety of Presbyterian and ecumenical publications. Ptomey is married to Carol A. Tate, an ordained Presbyterian minister and new church development pastor. He has a son, Christopher, a recent law school graduate living in Washington, D.C., a stepson, John, a recent graduate of Kenyon College; a daughter, Patricia Patterson, of Indianapolis; and a stepdaughter, Liz, a high school sophomore.
Rick Ufford-Chase, 39, of Tucson, Ariz., is a mission co-worker with the PC(USA). In 1987, as a young adult Volunteer-in-Mission, he co-founded BorderLinks, a binational organization on the U.S./Mexico border whose mission is to connect and educate people of faith from both sides of the border. In addition to his work as the international director of BorderLinks, Rick also works with CEDEPCA, the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America located in Guatemala.
For the last three years, Rick has served as a co-moderator of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. Last year, Rick and his wife, Kitty, trained intensively to become reservists with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). CPT sends Christian teams to be a nonviolent presence in situations of extreme conflict. They currently have teams in Colombia, Iraq, the Palestinian West Bank and the U.S./Mexico border region. For more than 15 years, Kitty and Rick have been strong advocates for migrants in the borderlands.
Ufford-Chase, who is fluent in Spanish, is an elder at Tucson’s Southside church, whose pastor is former PC(USA) moderator John Fife. Kitty Ufford-Chase is a lifelong Quaker who has spent most of her career working with the American Friends Service Committee. They have a nine-year-old son, Teo. nominees answers follow here