REVEREND Laisiasa Ratabacaca is the new acting president of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
He was elected at the church's standing committee meeting yesterday.
Mr Ratabacaca, to replace the late president Tuikilakila Waqairatu who passed Tuesday, will preside over this year's annual conference when a new president is expected to be elected.
The former president is the current Divisional Superintendent of the Church's Nabua Division.
Mr Ratabacaca first served as president of the Methodist Church in Fiji from 2002 to 2004.
He acted as president following the death of his successor Jione Lagi in 2005 and was re-elected president in the 2005 conference, serving from 2006 to 2008.
Speaking to the standing committee, Mr Ratabacaca accepted the committee's decision with humility and asked for the church's prayers for him and the family of the late president.
He encouraged the leaders to get back to basics, calling for revival at the local congregational level through the matasiga or cell groups.
He said the church must continue the work started by Dr Waqairatu in terms of unity both in the church and the nation, and strengthening the moral fibre of society, especially in respect of women and children.
Mr Ratabacaca said Mr Waqairatu's death was unfortunate and thanked the Lord for the work that he was able to accomplish in his short term of leadership.
"I respected his leadership. He did his best and we were all looking forward to his leadership during his three-year term."
Meanwhile, Dr Waqairatu's seat at the Centenary Church headquarters was draped in black cloth and tapa to signify the mourning period.
He will be laid to rest in Davuilevu next Thursday.