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G.A. Co-Moderators

G.A. Co-Moderators

Sankofa Bird


SCHEDULE  A VISIT

Meet the Co-Moderators

Teaching Elder Gregory J. Bentley and Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart stand together as candidates for Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Street-Stewart and Bentley both cite their own heritage and the dramatic influence of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on their lives, and on those like them, as the foundation of their desire to serve the wider church with “a hope that combines faith and justice into a life of service." Our personal experiences teach so much about who we are, and they are key to building relations across the church, across our differences, across our experiences through the hope of the Matthew 25 initiative,” Street-Stewart observed. “We believe it will take all that we are, individually and collectively, to continue to take on the important work God has for the PCUSA to do.

Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart

Elona Street StewartElona Street-Stewart is a descendant of the Delaware Nanticoke Tribe and is the first Native American to serve as a Moderator of the PC(USA) as well as the first to serve as a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A ruling elder and a longtime staff member of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, she has served in the synod since 1994. Before taking the position, she had been the synod’s associate for racial ethnic ministries and community empowerment.

An active church leader at the national level since 1980, Street-Stewart chaired the Council on Church and Race and the Advocacy Committee on Racial Ethnic Concerns. She was a member of the Relocation Committee of General Assembly Agencies following reunion of the northern and southern branches of the PC(USA). Street-Stewart also received the denomination’s Women of Faith Award during the 219th General Assembly (2010).

Other churchwide responsibilities include the national Self Development of People Committee, Presbyterian Women, Third World Women, General Assembly Committee on Representation, Native American Consulting Committee, and the General Assembly Nominating Committee. She also served on the executive committee of the Minnesota Council of Churches and with the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches’ Department of Indian Work.

In 2001 Street-Stewart became the first Native American elected to serve on the board of an urban school district in Minnesota. Reelected in 2005 and 2009, she served as chair of the board and as a district director on the Minnesota School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the National School Board Associations Council on Urban Boards of Education.

Street-Stewart has led the Minnesota Minority Education Partnership, the American Indian Family Center, the national American Indian Alaska Native School Board Caucus, the Saint Paul Children’s Collaborative, and The Saint Paul Foundation’s antiracism advisory committee.

Born in Philadelphia, Street-Stewart was an Upward Bound student at Swarthmore (Pennsylvania) College and received her bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Street-Stewart was elected, alongside the Reverend Gregory Bentley, as Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020) during the denomination’s first ever online assembly.

The Rev. Gregory Bentley

Gregory Bentley

From the classroom to the pulpit, the Reverend Gregory J. Bentley has used the talents given by God to minister in his community and beyond. Raised as a Baptist, the Alabama native found his calling through the Presbyterian church.

After graduating from Stillman College with a degree in science and biology, he furthered his studies with a Master’s in Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, and followed up with a Master of Education degree from Auburn University at Montgomery, Alabama.

Bentley first served in a bi-vocational capacity, teaching high school biology and science while serving as a pastor at Northern Heights Presbyterian Church in Selma. That was followed by pastorates at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa and his current call, Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Huntsville.

Bentley’s work has extended beyond the walls of his church, having served as president of the Huntsville Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He is also past president of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus. Bentley has also served on committees for the presbytery (the regional organization of congregations) and as commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In June 2020, he joined Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart to become Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020). The two presided over the denomination’s first ever online General Assembly.

Bentley said, upon his election as Co-Moderator, that he is working toward the goals of building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty.

 


Schedule a visit by the Co-Moderators

Interested in Elona or Gregory participating in an event?

  1. Fill out the request form.
  2. Send the completed form to:
    • your synod
    • Jayne Culp (Office of the General Assembly)
      100 Witherspoon St.
      Louisville, KY 40202

Synods have been asked to develop itineration within their bounds for the Moderator. Sharing this form with your synod will inform them that you have requested a visit so that they might include your visit in the plans.

Download the request form. (PDF)