Fraserburgh father of five Bruce Stephen has been ordained as the new Bishop of the Buchan ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The congregation meets in the recently opened chapel at Newlands Road, Mintlaw.
Bishop Stephen, who is employed as a firefighter at Aberdeen Airport, explained: “I did not canvass to be a Bishop, nor was I elected by the congregation.
“The church leader, who oversees the ecclesiastical leaders of six church congregations in the North-east of Scotland, proposed to the Prophet of the Church in Salt Lake City, Utah - president Thomas S. Monson - that I should serve the members and upon his approval the members of the Buchan ward sustained me on Sunday, November 4 as their Bishop.”
Latter-day Saint Bishops do not wear clerical regalia and do not get paid by the church.
Bishop Stephen copntinued: “I will be assisted by two counsellors, a clerk, and an executive secretary and I will administer the spiritual and temporal affairs of the local church for about five years.
“Pairs of elders will visit the homes of families at least monthly to minister to their spiritual and temporal needs, and similarly pairs of women will visit with the female members and they will report back to me.”
The women in the church form the Relief Society, one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations throughout the world, and they are supervised locally by an experienced woman and provide compassionate service among themselves and to non-members.
Other members run the primary organisation for children aged 3 – 12 years, and the young men and young women aged 12 – 18 years have their separate programmes for spiritual, cultural and moral development. The youth also attend Seminary classes for 4 years to study the scriptures to gain a certificate for their achievement.