‘Grow And Expand’

Rev. Elizabeth Whitney At Helm of First Covenant Church

Rev. Liz Whitney and her family members, husband Daniel Whitney, and their children Caleb, Ethan, and Ainsley Whitney are blessed and surrounded by members of their new church family, April 14 at First Covenant Church located at 520 Spring St.

For Elizabeth Whitney, a married mother of three, answering the call to pastor this church has been all positive thus far.

Whitney, formerly of Connecticut, was recently installed as the head of First Covenant Church located at 520 Spring St. and is part of the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination.

“I’ve actually been preaching at the church for some time now, but had my installation ceremony on April 14, 2024,” said Whitney. “I feel wonderful. I love this area and this congregation.”

According to covchurch.org, the Evangelical Covenant Church is a growing, multi-ethnic, intergenerational mosaic of churches with ministry partnerships in nearly 40 countries. An installation ceremony is part of the formalization of a called pastor to a congregation.

Another local pastor of a sister church to First Covenant shed some light about what an installation ceremony is.

Rev. Liz Whitney is installed as the head pastor of First Covenant Church by Rev. Garth McGrath, superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church during an April 14 church service. Submitted photo

“It’s kind of like a marriage between a pastor and the congregation who calls him or her to be its leader,” the Rev. Jay Baehr, the administrative pastor of adult ministries and worship for Zion Covenant Church, the sister church of the Evangelical Covenant Church. “This is usually officiated by a superintendent of the conference which the church is located within.”

Whitney’s ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Garth McGrath, superintendent of the Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church,” wrote FCC church’s chairwoman, Margaret Coulter, in an email.

However, for Whitney, taking the helm of this church is more than just a job – it’s a calling. She has some lofty goals for the future direction of this place of worship.

“I want to get to know everyone in our church, and I really want to grow and expand our recently – brought back children’s ministry,” she said. “Children are our future. Long-term, I want to have a stronger impact in our community. We have a food pantry, which the church has had for years and years, but I want to make it more accessible, and I want to partner with other bodies of believers to serve this city.”

While Whitney is new to the area, she’s already receiving laurels of respect from other faith-based leaders.

“I’m hearing she’s an amazing preacher,” said Baehr. “Everyone I talk to says she is wonderful and is a good fit for our area.”

Zion Covenant Church and First Covenant Church not only share youth group ministry leadership but chorial team ministries as well.

Whitney heads up the 144-years old church which has the mission of “To Know Christ and Make Him Known” and welcomes all to attend a service or visit the congregation.

“We’re a body of believers who welcomes all,” she said. “We have a mission to ‘”Too know Christ and make him known.”‘ “We offer church service at 10 a.m. each Sunday morning.”

For more information contact (716) 483-9825 or visit firstcov.church.


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