ECC Leadership Changes Announced

CHICAGO, IL (October 18, 2018) — Rebecca Gonzalez, executive director of operations for the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC), released the following announcement to the Covenant community.


In the past six weeks new leaders have been welcomed to Covenant leadership. Elected at the June 2018 Annual Meeting were John Wenrich as ECC president and Lance Davis as executive minister of Develop Leaders and Ordered Ministry. In addition, Angela Yee has been appointed to the role of executive director of ministry development by the ECC Executive Board upon recommendation of President Wenrich.

During the same time, four Covenant leaders have announced transition timelines for concluding their current service.

Steve Dawson, president of National Covenant Properties (NCP), will be retiring effective December 31, 2018. Steve will conclude 29 years of service at the denominational offices, having joined the Church Growth and Evangelism staff as director of technical services in 1989. He has served in his current role with NCP since 2007. At the October ECC Executive Board meeting, Peter Hedstrom, currently executive vice president and CFO of NCP, was presented by the NCP Board of Directors and approved to serve as the next president of National Covenant Properties.

Cecilia Williams, executive minister of Love Mercy and Do Justice (LMDJ), was elected by the Covenant Annual Meeting in 2015 to a four-year term. In her process of discernment, Cecilia reached a decision not to seek a second term. She will conclude her service on August 31, 2019. Per the ECC Bylaws, a nominee for this position will be sought for presentation by the ECC Executive Board to the Covenant Annual Meeting 2019 for election. A search committee was formed at the October ECC Executive Board meeting to include 13 members of the Board plus the president, executive director of ministry development, and executive director of operations.

Paul Hawkinson, executive director of finance/corporate treasurer, will conclude his service in June 2019, having fulfilled the five-year commitment he made when he was appointed in 2014. He will continue to serve in an advisory role after a successor is named in order to bring key affiliate and pension projects to completion.

Ed Gilbreath, executive director of communication, will conclude his service on December 31, 2018. Ed has served as the leader of Covenant Communications since July 2013, a time during which he has energized and advanced print/digital communications in support of the whole mission of the ECC.

Per the ECC Bylaws, the executive director roles in which both Paul and Ed have served are appointed by the Executive Board upon recommendation of a candidate by the president. A search committee will be formed to guide the process for each of these executive positions.

God has blessed us richly as a Covenant through the multiple gifts of these leaders. They have served sacrificially with wisdom, expertise, faithfulness, passion, and creativity to advance the mission. Opportunities will be provided for the Covenant constituency to express gratitude to each of these leaders in the coming weeks.

We invite you to join us in prayer for these individuals as they prepare to transition, and for the processes unfolding to discern God’s choices for each of these roles in our next season of ministry. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and direct these processes. If you have input for the search processes, contact


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