Dana Allin, a pastor from Florida, has been chosen as the first synod executive of the new denomination ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
ECO announced in a news release Jan. 23 that Allin was selected jointly by the boards of directors of ECO and of The Fellowship of Presbyterians to lead the synod, which is the highest governing body in the new denomination.
Allin will leave his job as senior pastor of Indian River Presbyterian Church in Fort Pierce, Fla., and will begin work as synod executive on April 15.
The announcement comes just a week before ECO and the Fellowship will meet jointly in Orlando Jan. 30-Feb. 1. That gathering will include the first-ever synod meeting – a test-drive, to some extent, of how the new governing body system of ECO will work. So far, the leadership selections for ECO have been by appointment rather than by a vote of delegates, and key documents for ECO have been drafted by leadership work teams.
ECO recently announced, for example, that it has established a process for ordaining ministers, and that its Ordination Task Force will make a presentation in Orlando giving the details. Teams in both the East and West presbyteries (the two presbyteries that make up the ECO synod) have already begun meeting, and ordination exams have been created.
More than 1,100 people have registered for the Orlando meeting – which includes both voting commissioners of congregations which have joined ECO, and also Presbyterians from congregations which likely will stay in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (some of whom are also affiliated with the Fellowship) and others which are in the process of leaving the PC(USA), either for ECO or the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.
Allin has been involved with the formation of ECO since it was formally created in January 2012, serving previously as ECO president. He earned both a master of divinity and a doctorate in ministry degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, the news release states.
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