The Rev. Joe Surin of Tempe

Horizon Presbyterian Church has a transitional pastor.

The Rev. Joe Surin will lead the church, which has not head a pastor since June, until a permanent one can is selected.

He will work with Horizon’s Session (the governing body for the church) board of deacons and various ministry and mission teams, including God’s Garden Preschool and Child Development Center.

A Midwesterner originally from the Chicago area, “Joe brings a unique blend of experiences and gifts to Horizon,” according to a release.

He was ordained 17 years ago and has served churches as pastor-head of staff, executive pastor and a variety of specific roles.  Most recently, he has directed family ministries for The Spring, a sister church in the new ECO Denomination.  

The ECO, or Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, was established in 2012 by former congregations and members of the Presbyterian Church who were unhappy over the latter’s decision to allow gay and lesbian pastors. As a Presbyterian church, it adheres to Reformed theology and Presbyterian governance.

Surin received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts in 2008.

According to the release, he describes himself this way: “God has given me the gift of administration and a vision to build upon the work Christ began.”  

“Joe believes in making Children’s Ministry the best time of a child’s week, doing this in the most safe and healthy environment imaginable,” the release said.

Horizon is marking its 25th anniversary this year and the release said Surin’s “traits and experiences will be valuable, and Joe will be a blessing to us.”

Surin and his wife, who is finance director for a church near their home, live in Tempe with their two sons, both of whom are Tempe Preparatory Academy students.

Surin is preaching and leading worship at 9 a.m. on Sundays.

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