I noted previously that Dr. Paisley had remained in post due to the snow cancelling a previous attempt by the Free Presbyterian Church to elect a new moderator. The weather forecast for Dungannon (where the meeting is due to be held tonight) appears to be wet but quite mild.The BBC and Belfast Telegraph have both suggested Rev Ron Johnston from Armagh will be the next moderator.
Whoever wins it seems very likely that the church will have a lower public profile; it is possible that many outside the fundamentalist community will soon have largely forgotten it though there are still events where it will be likely to try to make its views known, an example being a protest during any possible visit by the pope to Northern Ireland (exactly how that will go down with at least one of the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ is unclear).
As I have suggested before many Free Presbyterians are very likely to welcome their church being known for fundamentalist Protestantism rather than its perceived party political affiliations. This is the position already held by other fundamentalist denominations such as the Brethren, Independent Methodists and Reformed Presbyterians and is a position recently advocated by one of the umbrella fundamentalist groups the Evangelical Protestant Society which incidentally is also opposing any papal visit.
Hence, whilst the Free Presbyterian church may fade somewhat from general consciousness, it is unlikely to have (to quote a famous saying) gone away you know and will presumably reappear betimes.
The BBC is reporting that Rev. Ron Johnston from Armagh FPC has been elected the new moderator.