Reverend Dr Angus Morrison, minister of Orwell and Portmoak Church in Perth, will chair next year's General Assembly as Moderator.
Dr Morrison, who has served as a chaplain to the Queen, began his church career when he was ordained in the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. He served parishes in Oban and Edinburgh before he transferred to the Church of Scotland, becoming the minister of St Columba's Old Parish Church in Stornoway.
Dr Morrison said: "I really am amazed and deeply moved to have this honour laid on me. I am truly humbled by the trust that has been placed in me. I shall do my utmost by God's grace to prove worthy of it.
"It is my great desire to encourage the Church in its vital God-given mission to the people of Scotland and beyond. In these troubled times the peace and unity of the Church are dear to me and I shall endeavour to promote them in every way I can."
Dr Morrison, who has a degree in Classics and speaks Italian and Gaelic, studied at universities of Glasgow, Pisa and London before undertaking a PhD at Edinburgh University.