COLLEGE PARK, GA (October 3, 2017) – Southeast Conference superintendent Robert Owens will retire, effective August 31, 2018, it was announced today.
“Serving as your superintendent for the past 11 years has been one of the greatest
joys of my life,” Owens wrote in a letter to conference churches and ministers. “I have had the great honor to mentor pastors, plant churches, revitalize congregations, preach, teach, love, and give of my gifts. I am truly grateful for each new friendship and every God-ordained encounter.”
Owens has been a trailblazer in the Covenant. In 2011 he was presented with the Irving C. Lambert Award honoring excellence in urban ministry at the Annual Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado.
In 2014 he was named the first recipient of the North Park Theological Seminary Alumni Award for Distinguished Service. “He is a pastor’s pastor, he is a preacher’s preacher, he’s a mentor of young pastors, he is a bishop of souls,” said seminary president Dave Kersten when he presented the award.
“Robert has been a true giant in pioneering and nurturing the multi-ethnic identity of the ECC for decades now,” said president Gary Walter. “His consummate skill as a leader, combined with a heart for the whole of the Kingdom, has combined to bring a unique and lasting influence on our fellowship.”
Owens said his passion for mentoring young people developed at North Park. When Owens shared with then school-president David Horner that few African Americans attended the school at the time, Horner asked him to mentor those students.
Owens served Grace Covenant Church in Compton, California, from 1984 to 1991, planted and served New Life Covenant Church in Atlanta from 1992 to 2001, and was associate superintendent for five years before being elected superintendent in 2007.