CHICAGO, IL (April 20, 2012) – Mark Novak has been nominated to serve as executive minister of the Department of the Ordered Ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church, it was announced today.
Novak currently serves as superintendent of the North Pacific Conference (NPC), a position he has held since 1999.
He received his undergraduate degree in political science from Seattle Pacific College and a Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. He was ordained in the Covenant in 1980.
He served as youth pastor at Interbay Covenant Church in Seattle, Washington; associate pastor at Modesto Covenant Church in Modesto, California; senior pastor at McMinnville Covenant Church in McMinnville, Oregon; and as senior pastor at Redeemer Covenant Church in Orangevale, California, before accepting the call as conference superintendent.
His nomination concludes a lengthy and thorough process that considered 70 names recommended by individuals around the Covenant. From that list came the names of eight individuals who were asked to formally candidate.
“It is clear that God has long been making ready the way, preparing our colleague for this new work,” said Tom Ek, chair of the search committee. “Mark has wonderful experience as a local pastor and as a church planter. Having been superintendent of the NPC now for over 12 years, he has been directly involved in denominational leadership and in caring for and equipping pastors and local churches. He has a vision for engaging the recommendations of Organizing for Mission in the Department of the Ordered Ministry and has the leadership skills and standing with its staff, our board, and in our Ministerium to truly hit the ground running.”
Ek’s sentiments were echoed by three colleagues serving on the search committee: Willie Peterson, Diane Stevensen, and Margaret Logan.
“Mark emerged as an easy choice with his resume,” said Peterson, “but more than that, he humbly displays the passion for this challenging task. The Covenant can anticipate God doing great things under his leadership.”
“As superintendent, Mark has been a true advocate for his pastors and has demonstrated love and care for all he has worked with,” Stevensen said. “Mark has a love for his brothers and sisters of color and worked hard to advance the mosaic quality of the Covenant. He brings strong leadership skills and understands the challenges facing the department and the complexity of the task. We feel that Mark will be a good connection between conferences, the seminary, and the department in working to strengthen Covenant ministers.”
“As a member of the board and as a member of the laity, I could not be happier,” said Logan, “with one exception. Because my term expires in June, I will not have the privilege or honor of serving under Mark’s ministry leadership. I can only imagine the rewarding experience.”
President Gary Walter praised Novak’s selection as well. “Mark is uniquely qualified through his gifts, experience and heart,” Walter said. “I am grateful to Mark and his wife, Marilyn, for their willingness to follow the call of God. This is a good day for the kingdom, the Covenant, and all of our gifted and godly clergy.”
Thanking all who were involved in the process for their affirmation of his selection, Novak said he is willing to respond to the Covenant’s call “because I want to continue the great work of the department in strengthening the vocation of pastoral ministry. I am excited to work with the current staff to continue to enhance systems that encourage and nurture the professional development and health of our clergy. I am honored and overwhelmed with the opportunity to serve my colleagues through this office.”
Novak’s nomination will come before delegates attending the June Annual Meeting in Irvine, California. If approved, Novak will assume his new responsibilities on September 1.