The Most Rev. Ray R. Sutton - Presiding Bishop
The Most Rev. Ray R. Sutton serves as the Presiding Bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church (REC) and the Ordinary of the Diocese of Mid America. He is also the Dean of the Province and Ecumenical Affairs of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), of which the Reformed Episcopal Church is a founding member and special jurisdiction. Bishop Sutton often lectures at ACNA and Reformed Episcopal Seminaries, and is a popular retreat speaker.
A native of Kentucky and a Dallas resident since he was 13, Bishop Sutton received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and his Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. From 1976 to 1991, he served as a parish minister. Following this, he pursued doctoral studies in an associated research program at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford with Coventry University, from which he received his Ph.D.
He became the Dean and Professor of New Testament at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, and continues as an adjunct professor today. Later, Bishop Sutton functioned as Dean and Professor of Theology at Cranmer Theological House, where he continues to teach. He has also authored four books on theology, his most recent being Signed, Sealed and Delivered: A Study of Holy Baptism.
Bishop Sutton is married to Susan Jean Schaerdel of Dallas, a fellow graduate of Southern Methodist University. The Suttons have seven children and four grandchildren. The Suttons live in Dallas where Bishop Sutton’s residential offices are at the Pro Cathedral of the Church of the Holy Communion.
The Rev. Paul D. Cook - Rector
Rev. Cook was ordained pastor of Covenant Church in January of 2001. A native of central Michigan, he began his undergraduate studies at Grand Rapids Baptist College, (now Cornerstone University), and completed his B.A. at Colorado Christian University. He received his seminary training at the Reformed Baptist School of Theology in Grand Rapids. His sermons are clear, doctrinal, and full of practical application.
Pastor and Mrs. Cook have been married for 40 years, and are the happy parents of nine children and seven grandchildren.
In 2019, Rev. Cook was received as a Presbyter in the Reformed Episcopal Church.
The Rev. Dcn. Tim Gehrke
Tim Gehrke is the husband of Pamela K. Gehrke. They were married in November of 1984 and are the parents of 7 children (5 sons and 2 daughters), and have 11 grandchildren. Tim studied at Grand Rapids Baptist College and Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music, where he majored in Aviation Maintenance. He is a federally licensed Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic.
His professional career has included 17 years with American Airlines followed by Nestle Waters NA. He currently works full-time as a Production Supervisor for Dicastal NA.
Tim is dedicated to his church and family, and also enjoys a number of outdoor distractions including hunting, fishing, softball, and golf. We should not neglect to mention that also loves baseball. Tim loves to read and enjoys the works of John Calvin, Martin Luther and N.T. Wright.
The Rev. Dcn. James Sullivan
James Sullivan is the husband of Helena Sullivan with whom he has two children, Ruth (7) and Ransom (5). He holds a Master of Arts in Ancient History from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
James is employed as a Funeral Director at Lux Funeral Home in Carson City, Michigan. He is Navy Veteran, having served with the Marine Corps as a Combat Corpsman.
James loves the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. He enjoys reading fiction aloud with his family, playing board games, cooking, and making wine. James’ theology is influenced by Richard Hooker, Peter Leithart, and Hans Boersma. His favorite fiction authors are Anthony Trollope, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien.
Covenant Church's Vestry