Howard Edington, Interim Senior Pastor

J. Howard Edington accepted the call to become MDPC’s Interim Senior Pastor, and began his preaching ministry here on Sunday, June 30. 

Learn more about Howard, the remarkable path that led him to MDPC, and of his great love for Trisha, his partner in marriage and in ministry for over 50 years.

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About Howard Edington


From 1982 to 2003, Dr. Edington served as senior minister of the 5900-member First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, one of the largest mainline churches in the United States. Under his leadership, the congregation quadrupled in size, and Dr. Edington’s sermons were televised weekly for 21 years on The Certain Sound, broadcast to millions of homes throughout Central Florida and Metropolitan Atlanta.

Within months of his retirement from First Presbyterian of Orlando, Dr. Edington was called to a new ministry. In July 2003, he joined Providence Presbyterian Church in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as Senior Minister. In 2006, Dr. Edington launched a new outreach ministry to bring nationally recognized Christian speakers and teachers to the Island. He recruited his colleague, Charles W. Colson, and long-time friend, Rich DeVos, to headline the inaugural Cross Currents event.

In 2008, now twice-“retired,” Dr. Edington was asked to serve as Preacher-in-Residence at Central Presbyterian Church on the Upper East Side of New York City. What began as a Coffee Hour on Sunday mornings grew into a faith-based public outreach.


Dr. Edington has maintained a steadfast commitment to the development of young people at all education levels. He is the founding chairman of The Christ School, an elementary and middle school that operates on the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando campus.

Bridge Builder

A leader in the global mission community, Dr. Edington has committed his life to serving God by ministering to men and women from all walks of life. During his ten-year tenure on the board of the Outreach Foundation (the evangelistic mission arm of the Presbyterian Church), he spent three years as its chairman and led numerous mission trips, including one to the Middle East where strong ties were developed with leaders throughout the war-torn region.

Dr. Edington was instrumental in forming and fostering a unique relationship between First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and the Bethlehem Bible College in Israel. This bond served as the basis for efforts to build unity among Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Central Florida, and led to the signing of a Twin Cities agreement between the mayors of Orlando and Bethlehem.


Dr. Edington’s first book, Downtown Church: The Heart of the City, has enjoyed success with churches of all denominations and has been used in seminary curricula and classes. Dr. Edington was a contributing author to Beyond Belief, published by The Gathering/USA. His most recent book, The Forgotten Man of Christmas, was featured in the December 19, 2005, issue of TIME Magazine.

Husband, Father, and Grandfather

Howard and his wife, Trisha, have two adult daughters (Meg and Beth) and three grandchildren (Penn, Hunter, and Sarah Beth). In 1994, the Edington’s 22-year-old son, John David, was tragically killed in a car accident in Orlando.

Interim Pastor Nominating Committee Update

From Executive Pastor Dave Steane

March 27, 2013

The Interim Pastor Nominating Committee (IPNC) has been hard at work. They have tapped into the expansive network of Presbyterian pastors who know the values and culture of MDPC, and have connected with several potentially viable candidates. Many resumes have been studied, numerous sermons have been listened to, and several conversations have taken place. They have conducted personal interviews with the most promising candidates, and are continuing in the process of discerning God’s choice for our Interim Pastor. The IPNC hopes to recommend a person to Session as soon as possible, but finding the best possible match is a high priority. Please keep the IPNC in your prayers as they continue this strategic work on behalf of MDPC.

In the weeks immediately following Dave Peterson’s retirement on April 21, MDPC’s other pastors will continue the tradition of preaching God’s word with conviction, passion, and relevancy. A six-week sermon series will begin on May 19 which will point us to the foundations of our faith. Most important for us is to remain focused on Jesus Christ, and to remain committed to MDPC as our faith community.

Session Update

A Letter from Bart Westmoreland, Clerk of Session

November 26, 2012

Dear Members of MDPC,

This purpose of this letter is to bring you up to date on the efforts underway with regard to the pastor transition we face as a result of Dave Peterson’s announcement that he will be retiring in the Spring of next year. While saddened by this announcement, we are grateful for the blessing of Dave’s ministry and look forward to what God has in store for us as we continue with His work here at MDPC.

The Presbyterian Church, USA (the denomination of which MDPC is a part) has a procedure in place to address the calling of a new pastor.  While there is some latitude in the process a particular church may follow, the element of time is built in to the endeavor for important reasons.

Our Nominating Committee has examined the process and established a timeline which will allow everything to be in place to enable our search for a new pastor to get underway shortly after Dave leaves the pulpit next year.  This includes the establishment of a Pastor Nominating Committee, elected by the congregation, and the preparation of other items necessary for undertaking the search.  Periodic reports will be made to the congregation on the progress made in the work of this committee.

In the mean time, the Session has authorized the formation of a search committee for the purpose of locating an interim senior pastor for MDPC to serve while the search for a new pastor is underway. The committee has been assembled and will begin their work in the immediate future.

These are exciting times at MDPC; an opportunity for our faith to grow while we watch God’s mighty hand at work. While it will be a time of change, one thing is certain: The mission and ministry of MDPC will continue unimpeded as we continue in our work to see to it that no one misses the grace of God.


Bart Westmoreland
Clerk of Session

Howard's Latest Email

Dear MDPC Friends,

Palm Sunday. It was the day Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem for the last time. I refer to it as The Story I Never Tire of Hearing. I remember as a child being captivated by the whole idea of the Palm Sunday parade. Now, all these years later, as I am aware of all the currents and undercurrents at work that day, the story is even more fascinating. And so, on Sunday, we shall follow King Jesus into Jerusalem, taking a look at some of the details and dynamics of the story.

Our worship experience at all three morning services will end with a dramatic re-enactment of the building of the cross. Bill Foe and Brett Wagner will reprise the vivid and powerful experience that has meant so much to MDPC in the past. Afterwards, we shall depart in silence, ready to engage in the holiest week of the year. You will not want to miss this marvelous aspect of Palm Sunday at MDPC.

At the 9:45 service, we will have a special Children’s Message. Take this opportunity to have your kids invite a friend to church.

Those attending Fifth Service will be invited to reflect and pray about our need for a Savior, as Brandon Gaide preaches from Mark 11:1-26 in a sermon entitled Entering Our Brokenness.

The Fuente community will celebrate The Triumphal Entry with palms in hand, as Pastor Chacón preaches from Matthew 21:1-11.

On Saturday afternoon at 2:30 PM, the Concert Series continues as MDPC hosts Mercury, Houston’s downtown Baroque Orchestra, for a performance of concertos and sinfonias by Vivaldi. Tickets may be purchased at the door. Also save the date for the next concert on May 4 at 7:00 PM. Not to be missed, the choir accompanied by organist Kathryn White and directed by Charles Hausmann, will perform Mozart’s Requiem.

Monday, April 14, at 6:00 AM, The Spoken Word begins. I cannot tell you how grateful Trisha and I are that we get to share in this experience with you. From listening to some of last year’s participants, I know it is a powerful spiritual experience. Special thanks to David Thomas and Terri Higgins for coordinating this massive effort to publicly read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Whether you come to the Chapel to read or to listen, the power of God’s Word will enfold you. The Spoken Word is just one more reason that the Edingtons are thrilled to be part of MDPC.

In Christ’s Love,

Howard Edington
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