In Ministry

Who is Daris Bultena?

Rev. Dr. Daris Bultena began his ministerial service to The Presbytery of Tropical Florida after 25 years of ordained ministry in the Presbyterian Church USA. His journey of ministry has carried him from South Dakota, to Washington, D.C., to Princeton, to Philadelphia, to Baltimore, and ultimately to South Florida. Upon beginning his ministry in South Florida he said: “I’m thrilled about the call of The Presbytery of Tropical Florida to be the General Presbyter. God has been preparing me for this work and together we can shape the church missionally for Christ in South Florida.”

Prior to coming to South Florida, Daris had served in the Presbytery of Baltimore as the Pastor of Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church. There he grew a small children’s program into a successful ministry focused on serving families in need of the surrounding community. His passions and commitment grew the church into a multi-cultural ministry committed to inclusion, diversity, and justice.

Relationships have always been key to his understanding of ministry, about that he has said: “I am a relational person who genuinely loves people and I enjoy engaging people with vision for what God can do among us. The intersection of relationships, vision, and skills form lasting and faithful change.” He also has stated: “My constant goal is that others see reflected in me this positively infectious relationship I have with Christ. In serving a mid-council entity I intend to use my spiritual gifts to grow a healthy presbytery.”

When asked about his call to ministry Daris said this: “As I look back on my call to ministry, I recall the evening on the bank of the Missouri River in the shadow of Spirit Mount—a place that Lewis & Clark had explored—I remember that silent prayer of ‘if this is what you want of me, God, I will do it.’” He says, “All along the way God has allowed me to travel this call of ministry as if I were an explorer charting new territory. I’m excited for where the Spirit will carry me as I continue to make my way along this incredible journey that is faithfulness.”

Daris has an undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota (he was born and raised in South Dakota), he received his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his D.Min from Union Presbyterian Seminary. Prior to seminary he served on the staff of US Senator Larry Pressler as a legislative aid. He is a committed bridge builder, as well as a life-long Presbyterian who loves the institution of the church and its connectional nature. His drive is reflected in his personal mission statement: “Connecting people, congregations, and communities to the ocean of God’s love.”