Mormon Newsroom
News Release

New Church Leaders in Leeds area 

Members of the Leeds congregations have new Church leaders following the call of the previous stake president, Elder Robert Dryden, to the Third Quorum of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an Area Seventy. James Stewart has been called as stake president for the Leeds area, with Evan Kitsell first counsellor and Justin McKeown second counsellor. The new presidency was called and set apart by Elder Patrick Kearon, second counsellor in the Europe Area Presidency and Elder Francisco J. Ruiz de Mendoza at a special stake conference in May.

President Stewart (36) is currently serving as the bishop of the Keighley ward (congregation). Married to his wife Annette for 13 years and father to Eva (2), President Stewart is a design engineer in the oil and gas industry by profession. He served as a missionary in the Ireland Dublin mission from 1996-1998 and has previously served in many Church leadership roles as a bishop, high councillor, counsellor in a bishopric, counsellor on a young men’s presidency and Institute president.

Says President Stewart: “I am humbled as I accept this calling, yet recognise this is the Lord’s work and so I will work in His way. I have two tremendously able counsellors. Together we will work with the members of the Leeds stake to bring His children home and build the Kingdom.”
Evan Kitsell (58) also of the Keighley ward, is a Design Director at a microbiology equipment supplier and celebrates 35 years of marriage to his wife Rosemarie later this year. They are the parents of Alun (34), Jennie (32) and Michelle (21). President Kitsell served in the England Birmingham mission from 1974 to 1976. He has held numerous positions in the Church, including bishop, counsellor on a stake presidency, high councillor, ward clerk, elders’ quorum president, high priest group leader, counsellor on five different bishoprics, and branch president.

Justin McKeown (42) is a member of the Leeds 3rd ward and is the owner of a communications, training and strategy consultancy. Married to Ruth for 20 years, they are the parents of Callum (18), Alexandra (16), Fraser (15) and Findlay (9). President McKeown served in the Ohio Cleveland mission from 1990-1992. He has previously served as a director of public affairs, a counsellor on four bishoprics, a member of the high council, a young men’s president, a member of a stake mission presidency, an elders’ quorum president and a ward mission leader. “We feel we have a clear vision of what the Lord would have us accomplish as we serve in this presidency,” says President Stewart. “We’re excited to get to work and see miracles unfold.”

Pictured from L to R - Evan Kitsell, lst counsellor, President James Stewart and Justin McKeown, 2nd counsellor in the newly called Leeds Stake Presidency.

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