DR DENNIS Shanks is one of sixteen lay preachers commissioned in the Moreton Rivers presbytery in recent months.
Dr Shanks, a retired U.S. military officer, represents the variety of people engaged in the lay preachers’ course.
Presbytery Education Officer, Dr Aaron Ghiloni, said candidate numbers have surged.
“At present we have approximately 50 women and men,” he said.
“They came from Tongan, Indigenous, Anglo, and Rotuman backgrounds to take part in the Learning for Living program.”
Dr Shanks said his journey to being a lay preacher was a long one.
After two years of study, he is now equipped and accredited to lead worship at Emmanuel Uniting Church and other congregations that might invite him to preach.
Dr Shanks said he was well aware of many small congregations that cannot support a pastor or minister of the Word, and the scope for trained lay people to take leadership in worship.
Dr Ghiloni said the Presbytery was making good use of its lay preachers, serving rural congregations, providing lunch-time services in Brisbane’s CBD and maintaining weekly worship for a small church planted in suburban Bay Park.
Photo : Dr Dennis Shanks receives his accreditation from Dr Aaron Ghiloni. Photo by Lulu Shanks