First Covenant Church Staff (click on their name or picture to email that person)
Senior Pastor, Max Lopez-Cepero
My father, and the Bronx community I grew up in, was Puerto Rican and I prize those roots even as I have lived almost all my life in multi-ethnic communities. My Christian faith was nurtured in the Roman Catholic Church, and as a teenager I became involved in a Baptist church where that faith became more personal and committed. Educated in New York, I went to seminary in the Chicago area studying for ministry and also pursuing advanced studies in theological ethics and law. I married Helen Harmelink in 1980 and we have been blessed with three creative, bright, adult children. I would describe myself as a city boy who loves the great outdoors. This June with my oldest son I will visit my 59th (and final) National Park. What an adventure those trips have been over the years. I am in awe of Anchorage First Covenant and the great state of Alaska and only wish I had moved here sooner!
Associate Pastor of Youth and Family, Phil Cannon
I grew up on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan in a little city called Muskegon. I grew up in church, but never really owned my faith until after a mission trip in high school. I attended Covenant Bible College in Canada before finishing my BA in youth ministry at North Park University in Chicago. I received a M.Div. from North Park Seminary in 2005 and promptly moved to Alaska and to First Covenant and was ordained two years later. I love to hunt, fish, hike, make music, play board games and drink good coffee with great people. My wife Kate and our children are the greatest gifts God could have ever entrusted to me. I'll never deserve such amazing grace. For me, following Jesus is daily surrender; it is dying and rising with him; certainly as individuals, but especially in community.
Part-Time Associate Pastor, Vince Eben
I came to know Jesus as my Savior in 1976. My ministry includes prison ministry, Bible study at a homeless shelter, alternately speaking at the Rescue Mission each month, and speaking occasionally at Anchorage Native New Life Fellowship. I'm Alaska native, born in Fairbanks in 1952. I was raised in Nome and Unalakleet and came to Anchorage in 1967. I enjoy sport fishing and berry picking with my wife, Laura. We were happily married in 1986 by Pastor Keith Fullerton and, after a brief divorce remarried by Pastor Nathan Toots. I have vocational training as a heavy equipment operator and presently work as a barber. I also attended Arctic Bible Institute. One of my favorite Bible verses is John 14:19: "Because I live, you also will live." How utterly magnificent it is that Jesus takes excellent care of His church in spite of all the woes and afflictions she encounters.
CYAK Missionary Staff serving at First Covenant
We are currently SO blessed by our partnership in ministry with Covenant Youth of Alaska (CYAK)! By God's grace, we have been blessed with even more team members who help us pursue and build the kingdom through First Covenant. These team members raise their support much like missionaries traditionally have done and in some cases work bi-vocationally in order to support themselves to be able to do what they perceive to be God's call on their life. We are so grateful for their partnership and are very pleased to share ministry with them!
Director of Arigaa Anchorage, Jamie Rose
I grew up in Eagle River, Angoon, and Wasilla before studying Finance at University. From there I served in Unalakleet as a Youth Pastor before getting married to Erica and moving down to Chicago for ministry preparation at North Park Theological Seminary. From seminary we discerned the Lord calling us back to Alaska to serve young adults in Alaska. I love hiking, snowboarding, playing soccer and basketball. Erica and I had our first child, Levi James in March of 2012- game changer! We love good food, friends, and fun (see food and friends, add games, camping, etc.). We meet God often through God's people, God's creation, and worship in song, justice, and mercy. We are blessed to have faith in God together, and love sharing that with you, and being encouraged by your faith.