CHICAGO, IL (March 9, 2012) – Garth McGrath, senior pastor of Monadnock Covenant Church in Keene, New Hampshire, has been nominated to serve as superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), it was announced today.
His nomination was approved by the ECC Executive Board earlier this week. If approved by delegates to the Great Lakes Conference annual meeting April 20-22, McGrath will be installed as superintendent during the ECC Annual Meeting June 21-24 in Irvine, California.
“Leadership, encouragement and teaching are all very important gifts for a superintendent to have,” said search committee chair Dan Wolter of McGrath’s selection. “Our search committee also sensed that Garth has a calm and humble presence and is an excellent communicator and listener. We believe he has the relational skills to connect well with our pastors and lay leaders, the desire to care for them and encourage them in their ministries, and the wisdom to help them in times of need or trial.
“We all prayed for clear guidance from the Lord, and that is exactly what we received,” added Wolter, who also serves as chair of the Great Lakes Conference executive board and is a member of Faith Covenant Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan. “We greatly appreciate all of the prayer support offered on our behalf throughout this process.”
ECC President Gary Walter echoed those sentiments, noting that “Garth will be a wonderful shepherd for the mission of the conference. His approachable style and deep care for the work of God in the world are the consistent fruit of his ministry.”
“I feel honored by the invitation to become part of what God is doing in and through the Great Lakes Conference,” McGrath said. “The commitment to both church planting and congregational vitality with a vision to have 100 healthy missional churches by 2020 is compelling.”
The hard part, McGrath explained, will be “leaving a church and a people we love and a ministry in New Hampshire that excites me every day.” However, he said he feels affirmation from a variety of sources that the decision to take on this new challenge is the correct choice.
“I believe one of the ways God speaks is through his church, his people,” McGrath continued, noting that he has sought the counsel of mentors, former and current superintendents and associates, as well as lay people who are familiar with his pastoral service. “The affirmation of the search committee was also compelling for me,” he added. “I count it a great privilege to be considered to serve.”
A graduate of Albion College with a degree in psychology, McGrath graduated from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1985 and completed orientation at North Park Theological Seminary in 1989. He was ordained in the Covenant in 1990.
He completed an internship at Pasadena Covenant Church in Pasadena, California, and served as youth pastor at Modesto Covenant Church in Modesto, California, before accepting a position as associate pastor at Thornapple Covenant Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as senior pastor at Monadnock Covenant Church since 1998.
He has served as a member of the Covenant World Relief commission, as a member of the East Coast Conference Board, and served as chair of the East Coast Conference Ministerial Association. He currently serves on the ECC Executive Board.
Plans call for McGrath to assume his new responsibilities September 1 at the Great Lakes Conference offices in Canton, Michigan.