know our staff



Erica Cooper was called to serve as the Sixth Pastor of BCOC in October 2020. Her first Sunday as Pastor was Sunday, December 6, 2020. Before accepting the call at BCOC, Erica was Assistant Minister of Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Masters of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta where she won the John R. Claypool Preaching Award in 2009. She was ordained by Druid Hills Baptist Church Baptist Church in Atlanta. She is married to Chris Cooper, a native of Nashville. They have one child, Rosi.


Associate Pastor for Christian Formation

Valerie Burton was called to serve BCOC in April 2008 as Minister to Preschool, Children, and Youth. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Belmont University, Nashville, TN and a Master of Divinity from the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, Virginia. Valerie and her husband Allan have been members of BCOC since 2002. They have two children, Carter and Marshall.


Organist - Choirmaster

Daniel (Dan) Edward Lawhon was called to be the Organist-Choirmaster in 2008. He received a Bachelor of Music degree from Belmont University in Nashville, TN and a Master of Church Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the School of Church Music at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.


Minister of Community Engagement

Eric Clark was called as BCOC’s Minister of Community Engagement in 2022. Eric received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Georgia State University and his Master of Divinity from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Along the way, he spent two years studying philosophy and theology in Germany, the first year at the University of Tübingen, the second at the University of Munich. Eric began attending BCOC in 2017 after he moved to Birmingham to be closer to his future wife, Lyndsay, and to undertake a yearlong clinical pastoral residency at UAB Hospital. Lyndsay and Eric were married by BCOC pastor emerita Sarah Shelton in 2018. They have two children, Miriam and Amos.


Pastor Emeritus

Sarah Jackson Shelton served as pastor of Baptist Church of the Covenant from 2002, when she was called, to 2019, when she retired. She is a graduate of The University of Alabama and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Lloyd, have two children, David and Dan.


Financial Administrator

Sherri Swickard became BCOC's financial administrator in 2017. Sherri previously worked for the Accounting and Mortgage Loan Department of Protective Life for 32 years. Sherri and her husband Kerry live in Clay, Alabama.


Office Administrator

Josey Windham became the Office Administrator at Covenant in 2017. Josey graduated in 2012 from American University in Washington, DC. She lived and worked for a non-profit in Washington until she moved back to her home town of Birmingham.


Facilities Manager

Jimmy Hawley has served as the Facilities Manager since 2004. Jimmy is a life long member of Baptist Church of the Covenant. He and his wife Allison have two sons and live in Vestavia Hills.