Obituary: Paul H. Erickson

CAROL STREAM, IL (December 21, 2016) Retired Covenant pastor and former Northwest Conference Superintendent Paul H. Erickson, 76, died Tuesday, December 20.

Paul was born February 6, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Park College and a Master of Divinity from North Park Seminary. He also studied counseling at North Dakota State University.

He married Joan Harms on November 14, 1959.

Paul served as a youth pastor at North Park Covenant Church in Chicago;  pastor at Oakdale Covenant Church in Chicago; and pastor of Knollbrook Covenant Church in Fargo, North Dakota. He also served as associate pastor at First Covenant Church of St. Paul, Minnesota; and senior pastor of First Covenant Church in Portland, Oregon; Faith Covenant Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Brookdale Covenant Church in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; and as superintendent of the Northwest Conference prior to retiring.

He served on the national Board of Ministry and as secretary of the Board of World Mission.  At the regional level, Paul also chaired the Northwest Conference Board of Campus Ministry and the North Pacific Committee on Ministerial Standing, and served as secretary of the Northwest Conference Ministerial Association.

In addition to his wife, Paul is survived by a daughter, Cari Pietrzyk. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Lisa Greenwood; and a son, Scott Erickson.

A memorial service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 7, 2017, in the Windsor Park Manor auditorium, 124 Windsor Park Drive in Carol Stream, Illinois.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to Faith Covenant Church in Wheaton, Illinois, the Windsor Park Benevolent Fund, and the North Park Seminary scholarship fund.


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  • Paul was among the first people to welcome us into the Covenant as well. His warm spirit, enthusiasm for ministry, and passionate encouragement of us as youngsters just starting in ministry all worked to help us come to love our new Covenant family.

  • Paul exercised his role as superintendent with grace and truth. I deeply appreciated his love and ministry. Thank you Paul and blessings on Joan, Cari and Dan…and the rest of the family. Grieve with boldly and with hope. Paul Knight

  • Paul and I grew up together at North Park Covenant. We double dated in high school and stood next to each other in the church choir. For many years we lived far apart but have reconnected in recent years. I admired him greatly. Peace to Joan and the family.

  • Lynda and I credit Paul with our having joined the ECC. The year was 1981, I had recently graduated from an International Business School and had been transferred to Colorado Springs, CO. The corporation, in order for us to start right away, lent us a never been lived in brand new home not far from Faith Evangelical Covenant Church. We moved in on a Friday. I guess you could call it move in. We arrived with luggage and a 6 year old son and a less than one year old baby girl to an empty house, no curtains and only carpet and stairs to sit on. This was not a problem, we knew that we would have to camp out for awhile until our belongings were brought up from Arizona. Sunday, bright and early we woke up and prepared to visit a church at the bottom of the hill, not far from our home. We had decided that we best find a church home in our neighborhood knowing that we would soon become active in church activities. We arrived at Faith CC and quickly discovered that no one looked like us (Latino). No problem, we stayed and worshiped and left after having conversed with a few people. The next morning a knock was heard at our door. To our surprise, it was pastor Paul Erickson (what pastor visits on a Monday?) He entered and asked “What happened here, why is the house empty?” We explained and the rest is history. Paul, Joan, Faith CC, they all loved our family into the Covenant. We still feel loved. Thank you Paul and Joan.

  • Paul preached a joyful gospel, offered boundless grace, encouraged people and protected his pastors, sometimes from themselves. He put the ‘tend’ in the word ‘superintendent.’

  • Pastor Paul presided over our wedding ceremony in 1985…I will always remember him as a kind hearted and God loving man…he had a very special way about him…sincere condolences and blessings to Joan and the family!

  • Paul was a classmate, teammate, and friend. Great memories of a truly good guy. My love to his family!

  • We thank God for Paul’s enthusiastic service! His ministry touched many lives!
    May God bring comfort to Joan and the family.

  • Deepest sympathy to Joan and family. He touched the lives of so many of us as pastor, colleague, and friend. I was privileged to serve on the Council of Superintendents with him and, in all of our contacts through the years, he was a model of what it means to be a servant of Christ, a strong leader, and a man filled with grace! He will be deeply missed by all who knew him and loved him.

  • Paul was a giant of a man, with a heart for the lost and the found. His gracious way of leading made a huge impact on me, and he is the reason I am a Covenant pastor. God be with you Joan, as well as the rest of the family, as you mourn this great loss.

  • Paul was a dedicated, devoted and delightful colleague in ministry. He cared deeply for people and for the living out of the Gospel. I always cherished the friendship that began way back at North Park College and continued right through our service together on the Council of Superintendents. Even through the difficult years of his terminal illness, his smile was always present. Peace to his memory.

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