In a day and age when short to medium length pastorates are mostly the norm, the New Covenant Presbyterian Church has issued a call to just their third pastor since organizing as one of the Presbyterian Church in America’s earliest church plants. TE Jeff Elliott, Associate Pastor at the Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in Ridgeland (suburban Jackson), Mississippi received a call at a congregational meeting on Sunday, October 18 and has indicated his acceptance.
New Covenant was originally planted during the first year of the PCA’s existence by TE Bob Schoof, who remained for 10 years. Schoof arrived in the summer of 1974 and was received as a member of Mid Atlantic Presbytery. The church’s original name was The Reformed Presbyterian Church of Tidewater, but later that year was changed to New Covenant.
Schoof went on to plant Manassas, Alexandria, and Winchester, Virginia and as MNA Chairman for the local Presbytery worked alongside TE Phil Douglass in planting a number of new churches over the next 20 years.
During Schoof’s tenure as pastor at New Covenant, two young men from the church left to attend Biblical Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, In the providence of God, as Schoof left Virginia Beach to briefly help his son, Steve start his career as a Missionary in Australia, one of those two young men, Joseph Mullen, finished seminary and was called to serve as the church’s second pastor. TE Mullen served from 1984 until earlier this year, when he was called to serve as Associate Pastor of Discipleship at the Trinity Presbyterian Church in Asheville, N.C.
New Covenant is uniquely located essentially around the corner from the headquarters of Christian Broadcasting Network and RegentUniversity. A number of their members are employed there either as faculty or staff, including faculty members at the RegentLawSchool.
Elliot is excited about the opportunities at New Covenant. He had completed his initial time commitment to the PearOrchardChurch about two years ago but wanted to wait for a situation where there was a good fit for his gifts before stepping into his first call as a Senior Pastor. He and his family have already sold the house in Mississippi and will be moving soon to their new Virginia home.