Covenant Leadership Team




President of the Evangelical Covenant Church

Dr. John Wenrich became the tenth president of the ECC on September 1, 2018. He was previously the executive minister of Start and Strengthen Churches. John has traveled extensively both nationally and internationally as an inspirational speaker and leadership coach. John has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Villanova University (think basketball!), a master of divinity degree from Denver Seminary, and a doctor of ministry degree from Fuller Seminary. He has pastored and planted churches around the country and was ordained by the Covenant in 2002. John and his wife, Julie, have been married for 30 years and live near Chicago. They have three sons and a daughter in-law who all live in Portland.

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Chief Ministry Officer

As the Chief Ministry Officer, Angela Yee works alongside the president of the ECC to provide leadership and general oversight of ministry developments. She also facilitates collaboration of Covenant Offices with the ECC’s constituents. Angela is an ordained Covenant pastor, has served in pastoral roles at a Covenant church plant in Fullerton, CA, Saddleback Church in Irvine, California, University Covenant Church in Davis, CA, and on staff at Bayside Church. She has extensive experience in graphic and stage design, project and events management, and leadership coaching. She also has been a board member of the Covenant Asian Pastors Association (CAPA). She and her husband, Albert, have two adult children.

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Lance Davis

Executive Minister of Develop Leaders

Rev. Lance Davis is the executive minister of Develop Leaders and Ordered Ministry. He entered ministry in 1991, serving on the staffs of two prominent Chicago-area congregations. Subsequently, he became a church planter, founding what is now New Zion Covenant Church in Dolton, Illinois. The congregation joined the ECC in 2012. He was elected to his current role in 2018. In addition to pastoral ministry, Lance has been instrumental in launching numerous nonprofit community-service organizations, including Bezalel Affordable Housing in Dolton and TransAtlantic Water Development in Ghana. In Lance’s 25 years of ministry, there have been two consistent themes: development of leaders and community impact. He holds a BA in business administration from Trinity College and an MA from Gospel Ministries Theological Seminary. Most importantly, Lance is married to Kara, an accomplished physician and author, and they have four adult children.

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Paul Lessard

Executive Minister of Start and Strengthen Churches

Rev. Paul Lessard serves as executive minister of Start and Strengthen Churches. Throughout his years of ministry, he has served as a worship pastor, senior pastor, and nonprofit consultant serving churches and organizations in the U.S. and Canada as well as internationally. Paul also has 17 years in Christian higher education serving in teaching, administrative, and executive roles for Covenant Bible College and Colorado Christian College. Paul has been a part of six church plants, as well as serving on the Front Range Church Planting group for the Midwest conference of the ECC. As a consultant he has worked with individuals, teams, and organizations finding themselves at some kind of a crossroad. Paul has a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s in executive leadership. He and his wife, Rebecca, have two adult children, a son-in-law, and one grandchild.

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Paul Robinson

Executive Minister of Love Mercy Do Justice

Rev. Paul Robinson served as lead church planter of Grace Outreach Covenant Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, and as senior community leadership consultant with the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota. He has consulted with various clients to develop leadership experiences designed to help individuals and organizations maximize productivity, and he is the former director of the James P. Shannon Leadership Institute. Paul combines his expertise in leadership development with theory and practice aimed at advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion to catalyze individual and organizational growth. He is most comfortable at the intersection of ideas, difference, passion and effective action, and he is a strong advocate for justice and equity. Paul enjoys using his skills in meeting design, facilitation, and convening to catalyze meaningful connections to stimulate individual and community transformation. He holds a bachelor of science in finance degree from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s of divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary of Chicago.

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Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples

Rev. Michelle Sanchez is executive minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. Her dream is to foster a multiethnic movement of disciples who make disciples across all ages. Prior to this role, Michelle served as Pastor of Christian Formation and Mission at Highrock Covenant Church in the Boston area. She has previously served in leadership for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, launched ministries to international students with a multiethnic Cru team (Campus Crusade for Christ), and worked as an investment banker for Goldman, Sachs & Co. Michelle has earned an M.Div. and Th.M. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, an international business degree from New York University (NYU), and certification in spiritual direction from Boston College. Michelle is married to Mickey, a staff worker at Northwestern University with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries.

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Executive Minister of Serve Globally

Dr. Al Tizon is executive minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries arm of the ECC. This position includes a faculty appointment as Affiliate Associate Professor of Missional and Global Leadership at North Park Theological Seminary also in Chicago. He has engaged in community development, church leadership, advocacy, and urban ministry both in the Philippines and the United States. He earned a PhD in Missiology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, is the author of two books—Transformation After Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-Local Perspective (Regnum, 2008) and Missional Preaching: Engage, Embrace, Transform (Judson 2012); co-author of one—Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities with Ron Sider, John Perkins, and Wayne Gordon (Baker 2008); co-editor of two—Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations with Sydney Park and Soong-Chan Rah (Judson 2012) and Following Jesus: Journeys in Radical Discipleship (Regnum, 2013); Al and his wife, Janice, are parents of four grown children. In addition, their oldest daughter and husband have three children, and four grandchildren.

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Gayle Gilreath

Executive Director of Advancement

As the executive director of Mission Advancement, Gayle and the Advancement team serve to bountifully resource the expansive mission and ministry of the Covenant by seeking generous support from churches and individuals to help bring the transformative love of Christ to real people in real places.  Prior to coming to the ECC, Gayle served at Minnehaha Academy as the director of development. She has many years of executive experience with boards and senior management teams, leading organizational and advancement initiatives at the highest level with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Gayle serves as a bivocational pastor of congregational care at Community Covenant Church, Minneapolis. She has a B.A. in education from Bethel University, M.Ed. in education and human development from the University of Minnesota, and certificates from the Indiana School of Philanthropy and the Boys and Girls Clubs of American Executive Management Program.

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Executive Director of Operations

As executive director of Operations, Rebecca has direct responsibility for the ECC’s human resource functions and governance administration, as well as oversight of IT, Events, and Building Services. Before coming to the ECC, she served as vice president for operations and programming at Casa Central, the largest non-governmental provider of social services in Chicago. She also has leadership experience with World Vision and other church-based and retail contexts. She holds a master’s degree in management from North Park University. Rebecca and her husband, Jeorge, have two sons.

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Executive Director of Finance

Steve Klimkowski is the executive director of finance for the ECC. He brings more than 20 years of experience in investments, finance, and executive leadership to this role. Most recently he served as the president and chief executive officer of Double Honor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charity he founded to help alleviate financial need among evangelical pastors. His experience includes CIO for Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, COO for the University of Chicago’s Office of Investments, and senior vice president at ABN AMRO / The Chicago Corporation heading up fixed income and risk management. Steve earned his bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Illinois and a master of business administration in finance degree from the University of Chicago. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst. He and his wife, Alana, have four children.

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Peter Hedstrom

President, National Covenant Properties

Peter brings 30 years of banking experience into his role as NCP President, primarily from his time with US Bank where he most recently served as regional president in northeastern Minnesota. His extensive background in commercial lending and in the financial services industry is valuable as he manages the financial aspects of NCP. He is a graduate of Bethel University, St. Paul, Minnesota, with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and he received a Master of Business Administration with a finance concentration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Peter also is a graduate of the Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington in Seattle.

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