About New Cov
Seeking to be scriptural in both government and doctrine.
The form of church government that we believe is most biblical is called “Presbyterian”. This means that the local churches are governed by elders. There are two kinds of elders.
- Teaching elders are pastors.
- Ruling elders are ordained laymen.
The church is governed by the “session”, which is made up of the teaching elder (pastor) and ruling elders who are elected by the church members. The elders are responsible for the ministry of God’s Word and the overall spiritual health of the members.
Another group of leaders within the church are the deacons. These men are ordained laymen who are called to minister to physical and spiritual needs. Deacons look to provide for the physical church facility needs, but much more importantly the needs of people both within New Covenant PCA and the local community around us. They show God’s mercy and grace by placing “hands and feet” to the Gospel of Jesus.
Rev. John W. Wilson
A lifelong resident of Western PA, Jack graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in music education. Following college, while substitute teaching and selling pianos part time, he began going to the Ligonier Valley Study Center as often as possible to study with Dr. R.C. Sproul. Acting on advice from R.C., he then went to Pittsburgh Theological Seminary to study with Dr. John H. Gerstner. He received the Master of Arts degree magna cum laude completing his work there with a thesis on the Puritans on Marriage.
Dr. Gerstner had advised Jack to consider the ministry but he did not believe himself to be called and pursued other work including Equitable Insurance, Gimbel’s Portrait Studios, and McDonalds. Over time, Jack and his family began to reconsider whether the Lord was calling him to pastoral ministry. The session of the church they were then members of, the Presbyterian Church of Pitcairn (PCA), invited Jack to serve as an interim pastor after the Rev David Williams left to start a new church in Chicago. That interim position lasted two years following which Jack served for three years as an Associate Pastor at First Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Penn Hills and began teaching part time at Trinity Christian School.
Jack was then called to Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church as an interim pastor beginning in September of 1989. In a very short time the congregation called him as pastor and he was installed after the process of transferring his ministerial credentials from the PCA to the OPC. Jack continued to teach New Testament, Reformed Doctrine, and Ethics at Trinity Christian School for six more years until he and the session decided it was necessary for him to devote himself full time to the church. He continued at Covenant until the merger with New Hope PCA when he became the founding pastor of New Covenant PCA.
Jack and his wife Connie, an Administrative Assistant for PNC, live in Murrysville. Their daughter, Rachel, a chemist for PPG, lives in Pittsburgh.
Originally from Greenville, PA Chris began attending New Covenant predecessor Covenant OPC after moving back to Western PA from Albuquerque, NM. It was at COPC that he came to Christ under Jack Wilson’s preaching. Later, after graduating from Trinity Christian School, Chris attended Geneva College and met his wife Jessica where they were both active in Geneva’s Theatre Department. Later on he transferred to the University of Pittsburgh, first studying Theatre Arts, and then graduating with a B.A. in History. Then after a career in banking and finance, Chris began to discern a call to ministry and enrolled as a part-time student at the Reformed Presbyterian Seminary in Point Breeze. Chris came on staff at New Covenant in June of 2019. He and Jess have two kids, Max and Talia. Chris is soon to graduate from RPTS and is looking forward to graduating and pursuing ordination in the PCA. When he’s not hanging out with our students you might find him spending time with his family, reading, riding a bike, or playing the guitar.
Laurie is New Covenant’s wonderful Office Administrator. A long time member of the church, she has been serving on staff since October 2012. She organizes all aspects of our ministry and keeps us all organized. Laurie, and her husband Brian live in Apollo, PA and have two grown children.
Our merger in 2008 was very much like a marriage and, like any marriage, our new family has two family histories.
Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church started in Pittsburgh in 1937. One of the first acts for the small group of folks that started the church was to call the Rev. Calvin Knox Cummings to be their first pastor. Cal served the church faithfully for decades overseeing the move to a church building in Blackridge and the founding of Trinity Christian School. The congregation continued to meet in Blackridge from the early 1950’s until a fire made the building completely unusable in March of 2007. After the fire the congregation met at Trinity Christian School and then in the old Chapel of Beulah Presbyterian Church. On Easter Sunday, 2008 they began to meet together with New Hope PCA in their building in Monroeville.
New Hope had formed in 1981 when 83 members left the PCUSA with Rev. Bruce Mawhinney. Several years later the congregation was able to purchase an old elementary school in Monroeville and convert some classrooms into a sanctuary. By 1997 the congregation had grown and so had the building with several major additions.
By Easter of 2008 the New Hope congregation had been through some difficult times and the membership had dropped. When Covenant OPC asked about a joint Easter service, the New Hope elders began to think about a more permanent arrangement. At that time one congregation had a large building and no pastor and the other had a pastor and no building. As the two congregations began to meet together they found they had much in common and each brought gifts the other needed. It appeared that the Lord was leading toward a merger as the best course of ministry for both congregations, the best stewardship of resources, and as the best means of advancing the Kingdom in Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs. Covenant then left the OPC and was received into the PCA. The two congregations joined as one, chose the name New Covenant PCA, and called the Rev. John W. Wilson, the pastor of Covenant, to be the founding pastor of the new church.