The newest Presbyterian denomination continued to grow in 2016. ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians gained 78 churches and approximately 18,475 members last year.
While the 2016 membership numbers have not been completely finalized yet, Stated Clerk Dana Allin said that the numbers so far show that at the end of 2015 “we had 100,081 members and at the end of 2016 we had 118,556.” That’s an increase of 18,475 members.
ECO ended 2016 with 326 churches, up from 248 at the end of 2015, and according to the ECO web site, halfway into 2017, the denomination has grown to more than 340 congregations.
Exciting New for 2018 National Gathering
In other ECO news, the speakers for the 2018 National Gathering scheduled for Jan. 23-25, 2018 in Houston, Texas, have been announced.
“We are super thrilled with our speakers this year,” said Allin. They include:
- Condoleezza Rice: Former U.S. Secretary of State & National Security Advisor, professor, author, pianist, golfer and avid football fan.
- Ed Stetzer: Teacher, speaker and writer on theology, missiology, church planting, church revitalization and church innovation.
- Kyle Strobel: Teacher of spiritual theology for Talbot’s Institute for Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Formation Focus programs. His areas of interest include systematic theology, Jonathan Edwards, spiritual formation and prayer.
The theme of the Gathering is Renovate, based on Nehemiah 2:18. “Drawing on lessons from Nehemiah, we will learn and grow together so that we may strengthen our hands for the good work that God has in store for us.”
Registration opens Aug.1.
ECO developed out of The Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP). A FOP gathering in August 2011 drew more than 2,000 people to Minneapolis, Minn. At a similar gathering held five months later with approximately 2,220 attending, ECO was established, providing a new denominational home for those ready to do church differently while upholding a conservative or traditional Reformed faith.