(In photo above: The Rev. Dr. Neil Routh (right), newly elected president to the Southern Province Provincial Elders’ Conference, with the Rev. Dr. Dion Christopher, newly elected PEC member)
At the 2022 Synod of the Southern Province of the Moravian Church in America held at Winston-Salem State University, delegates elected members of the new Provincial Elders’ Conference (PEC) to lead the church through the next four years..
The Southern Province PEC provides leadership of all province ministries and administers the polity of the province. The PEC elected during the June 3 afternoon session at the 2022 Synod will serve through 2026 .
The Rev. Dr. Cornelius (Neil) Routh, currently pastor of Grace Moravian Church in Mt. Airy, N.C., was elected as president of the Provincial Elders’ Conference (PEC) on the 11th ballot taken and on the 32nd anniversary of his ordination. Neil grew up in the Fries Moravian congregation and is a graduate of Mars Hill College. From Mars Hill he attended Moravian Theological Seminary graduating with his MDIV degree in 1990. He began his service in parish ministry by serving New Hope Moravian in Newton, NC. From New Hope, Neil went on to serve Grace Moravian, Fairview Moravian, an interim at Mayodan Moravian, Christ Moravian, King Moravian, interims at Unity and Macedonia Moravian before returning for a second pastorate at Grace Moravian where he has been serving since 2016.
Neil has also been very active in provincial ministry. He was a member of the Provincial Elders’ Conference from 2010-14 and has served on the following boards: Laurel Ridge, Moravian Team for Racial Reconciliation, Synod Planning Committees, Provincial Administration Task Force, Moravian Ministries Foundation and a Trustee of Moravian Theological Seminary. Neil also earned a DMIN degree from Drew Seminary and has been an active participant and leader in the NC Presbyterian Pilgrimage ministry. Since his youth has been an active participant in the camping ministry of Laurel Ridge and continues to serve as a counselor.
“In my 32 years of ministry I have experience and been involved in many areas of congregational and provincial ministry,” said Neil. “They have cultivated in me a deep appreciation for ministry among clergy and lay people. I have a deep interest in sustaining current leaders and developing capacities for leading the province into the future.”
Routh and his wife Beverly have three adult children, Nathan, Zachary, and Jacob.
In photo above: Members of the newly elected Provincial Elders’ Conference receive blessings during their installation service.
In addition to the PEC President, the Provincial Elders’ Conference for the Southern Province consists of three clergy and three lay people. Clergy members elected to the PEC include
- The Rev. Dr. Dion Christopher: Dion is currently serving as Co-Pastor with his wife Eulencine in the South Florida Pastorate (Prince of Peace, Palm Beach, New Hope Moravian and the Margate Fellowship). In addition he is Pastor of King of Kings Moravian Church in Miami, FL. Prior to his ministry in Florida, Dion served several pastorates and served in positions of leadership in the Eastern West Indies Province including a time as Vice Chairperson and later acting Chairperson of the Moravian Church Eastern West Indies Province. He was also an active State Chaplain and Senior Army Chaplain for the Virgin Island National Guard for over a decade.
- The Rev. Christy Clore: Christy is currently serving as Transitional Pastor of Kernersville Moravian Church. She has previously served as Chaplain of Salem Academy and College, Associate Pastor of Home Moravian Church, and Director of Christian Education at New Philadelphia Moravian. Clore has received extensive training in mediation skills and has earned her certification as a Transitional Pastor (phase I and phase 2). She has been active in camping ministry of Laurel Ridge as a former M-Staffer and counselor and dean.
- The Rev. Dr. Riddick Weber: Riddick is currently serving as a Professor at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, PA. He is a member of the Commission on Ministry that works with our seminary candidates and Christian Educators. He has previously served as pastor of Fairview Moravian Church and also has served provincially as the Director of College Age Ministry. Riddick has been active in the camping ministry of Laurel Ridge since his youth. Riddick has presented several continuing education workshops across the Southern and Northern Province and also lectured on Moravian History and Theology in Albania and Cuba.
Lay members elected to the PEC include:
- Keith Kapp: Keith was reelected to a second term as a layperson on the PEC. He has held a variety of leadership positions in Raleigh Moravian Church where he is a member. In addition, he has been involved in several leadership positions in the Province including service on the following boards: Moravian Ministry Foundation, Moravian Music Foundation, Archives Committee, Laurel Ridge Moravian Camp and Conference Center. Beginning in 1984, Kapp served as Parliamentarian for Synod until 2018. He is an attorney and partner in the Williams, Mullen Law firm.
- Andi Williams: Andi is a member of New Philadelphia Moravian where she has served on the Board of Elders, taught Sunday school and served on several committees including Stewardship, Church Family Life and Human Resources. Andi is a Leadership Development Trainer working with the Center for Creative Leadership as a researcher, leadership development facilitator, and coach and portfolio director. She has been active in leadership in her children’s schools (including serving as an Assistant Field Hockey Coach at Mt. Tabor High School) and is currently writing a book on resilience practices for leaders.
- Deborah Aboudara: Deborah was a charter member (1978) of Covenant Moravian Church in Wilmington, NC. She is currently a member of Home Moravian where she is an active Choir member. She has previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Home Moravian and served as Church Treasurer while a member of Watertown Moravian Church in the early 1980’s. She has taught Sunday school primarily among Junior and Senior High aged children and has served as a counselor at Laurel Ridge. She is the founder and President of The Retirement Team, a firm that designs, implements and assists with operation and management of retirement plans sponsored by small business and non-profits. She is also a member of the NC Association of CPAs.
The newly elected PEC was installed during the closing worship of the 2022 Synod on Saturday, June 4.
The 2022 Synod of the Moravian Church Southern Province elected new provincial leadership for the 2022-26 period. Those elected include (l to r) Keith Kapp, The Rev. Dr. Neil Routh (president), Andi Williams, the Rev. Dr. Riddick Weber, Debra Aboudara, The Rev. Christy Clore and the Rev. Dr. Dion Christopher.