President of the Evangelical Covenant Church
Gary Walter has served as president of the ECC since 2008. He previously served as a pastor at Newport Covenant Church in Bellevue, Washington, and Clairemont Covenant Church in San Diego, California. Before becoming president, he served as the executive minister of the Department of Church Growth and Evangelism of the ECC. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of California-Berkeley and a Master of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Nancy, are founding members of DeerGrove Covenant Church in Palatine, Illinois, and have three daughters (Amy, Alissa, and Lauren) and several grandchildren.
Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples
Michelle Sanchez is Executive Minister of Make and Deepen Disciples for the Covenant. Her dream is to foster a multiethnic movement of disciples who make disciples across all ages. Prior to this role, Michelle served as pastor of Christian formation and mission at Highrock Church in the Boston area. She has previously served in leadership for the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization and worked as an investment banker for Goldman, Sachs & Co. Michelle earned MDiv and ThM degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and completed spiritual direction training at Boston College. She loves poetry, cycling, and reading voraciously. Michelle is married to Mickey, a staff worker at Northwestern University with InterVarsity Graduate and Faculty Ministries. As much as they enjoy making and deepening disciples in ministry, they treasure this work the most at home with their two children and favorite disciples in the world!
Director of Evangelism
Beth Seversen is the evangelism team leader for the ECC. She previously served as associate pastor at Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, WI, and at Hillcrest Evangelical Covenant in Prairie Village, KS. She and her husband, Mark, served as church planters and worked in campus ministry with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Beth was associate director of the master’s in evangelism and leadership program and the master’s in missional church movements and as adjunct faculty at Wheaton College and Graduate School. She recently earned her doctorate in intercultural studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. She is passionate about motivating graduate and undergraduate students, hanging out with people who are far from God and helping them take steps toward commitment to faith in Jesus. Beth loves infusing Jesus followers with a bigger picture of the gospel and equipping pastors and churches for God’s mission. Her motto is “Let’s collaborate with God’s Spirit and together start a multiplying movement of disciples that make disciples!”
Superintendent, Central Conference
Danny Martinez is the superintendent of the Central Conference, serving churches and ministries in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan (Upper Peninsula), Missouri, and Wisconsin. He is the first superintendent in our denomination of Latino descent. His parents emigrated from Guatemala to the United States, moving to Chicago. Danny has served in a number of leadership roles, including worship, youth, and lead pastor. He has been a church planter and served as president of MHIPE (the Latino association of Covenant churches in the US). He is an accomplished musician with several CDs in different genres of music including Latin pop, heavy metal, jazz fusion, contemporary worship, and Latin groove. His passion is multicultural worship, and he has led worship for denominational events such as Midwinter, Annual Meeting, and CHIC. Danny is a graduate of CHET (the Covenant’s theological school for Latino students) and earned his master’s of divinity from Fuller Seminary. He is finishing a doctorate in homiletics.
Superintendent, Midwest Conference
Tammy Swanson-Draheim grew up in Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California, where she came to faith in Christ. After graduating from California State University Fullerton with a BA in business administration, Tammy later discerned a clear call to ministry and began studies at Fuller Theological Seminary while on staff at Crossroads Covenant Church in Concord, California. She completed her MDiv at North Park Theological Seminary in 2003 and simultaneously completed a master’s of management degree from North Park University, graduating with high honors from both schools. While completing her studies, Tammy served as the chaplain of Covenant Home of Chicago. She moved to the Midwest Conference to serve as senior pastor of First Covenant Church in Mason City, Iowa, until 2011 when she was elected as the superintendent of that conference. Tammy and her husband, Kelly, have two children and two granddaughters. She loves being part of what God is doing to transform lives and communities through the Covenant Church.
Superintendent, Alaska Conference
Curtis serves as the superintendent for the Alaska Conference of the ECC. He is Iñupiaq Eskimo, raised in Unalakleet, Alaska. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma and taught in rural Alaska for five years before entering vocational ministry. Curtis has a God-given burden for Alaska Native peoples. His motivation is steeped in the joy of seeing the church reflect God’s kingdom mosaic. Curtis is married to Kristi, and they have three children. He enjoys salmon fishing on the Unalakleet River, photography, Oklahoma Sooner football and making Saturday morning sourdough pancakes.