Heath Rada, PCUSA Moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014)


About Heath

“You never know what God has planned, and the best we can do is to make ourselves available to do God’s work in whatever capacity God works out for us. If we do that, it is not a matter of winning or losing. It’s a matter of being open to all sorts of possibilities and being faithful to God's will as it plays out.”

- Dr. Heath K. Rada

Heath's Life

A native of Richmond Virginia, Dr. Rada is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Union Presbyerian Seminary and NC State University. He has also studied at St.Andrews University and Harvard University.

Dr. Rada retired from the position of CEO of the Greater Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross where he served as coordinator for the work of that organization in Virginia and the District of Columbia. He also held the positions of interim CEO of Red Cross Chapters in San Diego, Minneapolis- St.Paul, and Ft.Worth. Prior to his work with the American Red Cross, Dr. Rada served as President of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (now Union Presbyterian Seminary) in Richmond.

As an active church member, Dr. Rada has served in numerous capacities on the local, presbytery and national levels of the Presbyterian Church. Currently he serves on the boards of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Montreat Conference Center, and the Presbyterian Homes of North Carolina. He recently rotated off the board of the National American Red Cross Retiree’s Board. Previously he has served on numerous community boards in North Carolina and Asheville, including the Richmond Rotary Club, Sheltering Arms Hospital, Mission Hospital Foundation, Collegiate School, Council for America’s First Freedom, the National Conference for Christians and Jews (NCCJ), among others. He is a published author, a noted speaker, and has been honored numerous times for his contributions to his work and his community. He was North Carolina’s first Community Educator of the Year, the first recipient to receive an honorary Paul Harris Award from the Richmond Rotary Club, the recipient of the Margaret Bowen Award in Christian Education, and was named one of Richmond’s Humanitarians of the Year by the NCCJ.


Who: Dr. Heath K. Rada

What: Nominated for Moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA

Position: Active church professional, scholar and businessman

Personal: Wife, Peggy, of 46 years; two children, two grandchildren, Lives in Montreat, NC

Current Church: Member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian in Asheville

Known for: A ready smile and a twinkle in the eyes

Hobbies: College sports, music, theater, hiking, reading

Favorite public recognition: “Being named as Outstanding Alumni of Lakeside Elementary School on the occasion of its 75th birthday!”

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8 Responses to “About Heath”

  1. marylynhuff says:

    We are so excited God has called you to stand for moderator of the PCUSA. I can’t think a a person more qualified than you to lead this denomination. Your experience with the church locally, nationally, institutionally, and globally puts you in a unique position to understand both the challenges we face and the opportunities God has in mind for us. You are a down-to-earth visionary who listens, has a sense of humor, and, just instinctively, brings people together.
    Thank you for standing for this important office. We thank God for you!


  2. wilsonwj says:

    My name is William Wilson, this summer I have had the privilege to work on the 2013 Montreat Conference Center summer staff. During our weekly faith discussion, Heath came by and listened to what we thought about our church and its future. As a young adult, I would like to express my thanks to Heath for taking the time to listen to younger voices within our denomination.


  3. Sandra Dykes says:

    Our family came to know Heath when he was assigned to be Session’s Confirmand for our youngest son as he went through Confirmation in the Church. New to town, we had no idea what a divine gift we had ALL just been granted. As with any responsibility he tackles, Heath took this one very seriously. That was over 6 years ago and his relationship with my son not only continues but has blossomed. Heath has become his valued resource and friend as a reference, a confidant, a true friend and in my son’s words his ‘Mentor’. Talk about taking a task and running with it! We have the ultimate respect for Heath’s knowledge professionally and spiritually. He tackles every task with the same dedication and energy. Our denomination deserves this kind of energy and focus.Thank you for standing for the denomination!

  4. Jeremy Cannada says:

    Congratulations, Mr. Moderator ! May God richly bless you and your family now and in your many years of service to come, as ambassador of this denomination and as a servant of Christ. Joy to you !

  5. Anne Lowrance says:

    Congratulations to our new Moderator and the Presbyterian Church, USA!

  6. […] After some frustrations with the electronic voting system, Ruling Elder Heath Rada was elected as moderator of the 221st General Assembly by paper ballot on the first vote.  Heath […]

  7. stewartinoz says:

    Hi, I was browsing and found the comment that the Presbyterian Church had withdrawn $22million from investment in Israel. If it was your own money, you could do with it as you will. If the money came from offerings then should it not be considered ‘GOD’s Money’. If the latter then I hope you prayed long and hard before reaching the decision that can only be seen as a condemnation of Israel.

    If the Israeli State lays down its weapons, it will be annihilated. If the Moslem nations lay down their weapons there will be PEACE.

    I am a Scot, was raised Presbyterian in the Church of Scotland, was confirmed and married in St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Stranraer. My three elder children were Christened there so there is a lot of John Knox in me. However your action in condemning Israel make me wonder about how much you have room to condemn it in the light of the number of nations that USA attacked and civilians died who had not intention of attacking USA. I could list Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Vietnam etc.

    Israel issues warnings to the areas in GAZA where it will attack and advising the civilians to leave. HAMAS tells them to stay. HAMAS makes a song and a dance about a hospital and school being attacked (and losing the missiles stored there). HAMAS sends in suicide bombers, armed incursions into Israel through the tunnels. HAM|AS has sent and is continuing to send randomly targeted rockets into civilian areas in Israel.

    Israel sets up a field hospital to treat injured Palestinian civilians crossing the border. HAMAS tortures and kills kidnapped Israeli boys and laughs. Israel zealots retaliates and kills a Palestinian boy. Benny promised the 3 perps will get the full force of the law.

    I have walked round the Temple Mount in peace (controlled by Islamics). Christians and Jews are being killed in GAZA and elsewhere in the Middle East and Sudan and you condemn Israel.
    I am disgusted.

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