The Moderator Designate for the 2013 General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) is Rev Warren Ewing Gardner, minister of the Free Church Continuing congregation in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Mr Gardner was born in 1946 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania into a Christian family with wide and practical interests: his father, a surgeon, also ran a farm, while his mother was both a skilled lab technician and a trained teacher.
Although he came from a family of firm Christian convictions and practical involvement in mission work, Mr Gardner did not come to a personal faith until his third year of university studies, at which point his ambitions for a medical career were set aside and he began preparation for the ministry, first of all at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and then at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary from which he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree.
Ordained in 1972, he served as assistant minister of First Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, and then Rehoboth Presbyterian Church, Decatur, Georgia, before being called to First Presbyterian Church, Winder, Georgia. Mr Gardner entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church in America in 1981 as a church planter and organised the New Life Presbyterian Church in Winder, Georgia where he served as minister for twenty-three years.
In 2003 Mr Gardner sought admission into the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) to serve as a church planter in Atlanta, Georgia.
Mr Gardner is married to Valerie, a trained violinist who performed as a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra until she resigned her position to care for their children. The Gardners have five children. Their son is a trauma orthopedic surgeon, while three of their four daughters married ministers. Their eldest daughter is the wife of Rev. Robert McCurley, minister of the Free Church Continuing congregation in Greenville, South Carolina. The Gardners have thirteen grandchildren.