The new general secretary of the Uniting Church WA, Rev David de Kock, joins the team at the Uniting Church Centre today. He comes to the role with new ideas and a passion for living out Christ’s call.
David came to Australia seven years ago from South Africa. He became a follower of Christ in his late 20s, after marrying his wife, Margie. David and Margie’s three adult children and six grandchildren have all also immigrated to Australia in recent years.
David answered his call to ministry after a significant time in his family life.
“I was called to ministry shortly after choosing to follow Jesus but resisted for nearly 16 years. In the meantime Margie was diagnosed with terminal cancer which became a special faith forming time for us,” David said.
“With the prayers of the church to support us we faced a series of tests all confirming the diagnosis, and then, without any treatment, the cancer disappeared and she has not been troubled since. It was a turning point and I was ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa in 1993.”
Prior to ordination, David has worked at General Motors, the Standard Bank of South Africa, and has established his own business managing the currency risk for several blue chip companies in South Africa. He brings this experience in the financial industry to his new ministry role, and is ready to take on the financial challenges of the church.
“The church cannot continue to run at a deficit,” he said. “We have significant resources that are available for the cause of Christ, but we need to be good stewards. I envisage the development of budgets guided by our common vision, limited by our income and controlled by the various boards, commissions and committees themselves. In my experience this approach works really well because the people own it and are committed to it.”
Since moving to Australia in 2009, David has been the minister at Merredin Uniting Church and Lighthouse Geraldton Church. He has also served with the Uniting Church WA on the Rural Ministry Working Group, was chair of the Pastoral Relations and Placements Commission and was a member of General Council. Other involvements include the Walk to Emmaus movement and the Christian Motorcyclists Association.
In preparing for the general secretary role, David has identified five priorities; including prayer, people, passion, purpose and profit.
“As I take up office, I would value your prayers in these endeavours and am deeply grateful for the support which has been offered to me in numerous phone calls, emails and letters,” David said. “You cannot imagine what these have meant for me.”
Top image: Rev David de Kock (left) meets staff at the Uniting Church Centre, Marg Staffa and Ian Passmore.