Our session (group of elders) consists of the minister (more information below), Mr J. P. Winch, and Rev. Joshua Rieger.
Dr Chris Richards, Mr Kevin Hilton and Mr Sam Webster were ordained as deacons 4 September, 2011. While all three serve in the deacon’s primary role to administer charity to needy members of the church, they also have specialities in service. Chris serves as treasurer and librarian, Sam is in charge of piano accompaniment to assist our congregational singing as well as sound, whilst Kevin is in charge of stewarding & building logistics.
As of October 2015 the session approved the employment – on a part-time basis – of Kevin Hilton to enable him to discharge his deaconal duties more effectively. His usual office-day is Friday.
Revd Dr William M. (Bill) Schweitzer is originally from Florida, and came to this country as a US Marine exchange officer to the Royal Air Force. After leaving the services in 2005, he trained for the ministry at the Free Church of Scotland College (BTh, 2007) and completed research degrees in systematic theology at Edinburgh University (MTh, 2005; PhD, 2008). Bill is married to Pam, a native of Glens Falls, New York; they have seven children – Mark, Bethany, Mary, Anna, James, Rebecca and Ruth.
Nathan Hilton and Florian Weicken are our ministerial Assistants. They serve the church, supporting our minister and the congregation in various ways: from simple administration and website maintenance, to event planning, evangelism and teaching. Florian aids the church with particular focus on our online presence and conference publicity. Nathan also serves the families of our church in running the Young People’s club, and has an active role in the exploratory Bible studies being held in Sunderland. Both men are students and training for the ministry at Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The dual role allows the men to enjoy a unique opportunity of gaining their academic qualifications alongside invaluable ministry experience.
Nathan is married to Anna and has two young daughters, Mary and Ruth. Nathan is native to the North-East being born in Sunderland and raised in Gateshead. He was converted under the early ministry of Gateshead Presbyterian Church and is currently under care of Presbytery as a candidate for ministry.
Florian is married to Veronica. He moved to Gateshead from Switzerland to pursue a call to the ministry. Florian studied for a year at the Free Church College (now Edinburgh Theological Seminary), and is completing his ministerial degree through Westminster Presbyterian Theological Seminary.