About Eric

teEric is married to Terri Eros, a graduate of King University, Bristol, TN where she earned a BA in Economics. She works in administration and human resources.

eeEric’s daughter Erica received a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (magna cumme laude) from the University of Tennessee, and served as a squad leader in the “Pride of the Southland Marching Band.” Erica is completing her Master’s Degree in Music Education at the University of Tennessee.

mdivEric earned a Master of Divinity degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He served as the Student Body President for the School of Theology from 2009 – 2010.  In 1988, he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN. Prior to ordained ministry, Eric worked as a Retail Associate Buyer with Sears Roebuck and Company, at their home office in Hoffman Estates, IL.  Later, Eric worked as a Buyer with Parisian Stores, a former division of Saks Inc. in Birmingham, AL. Eric also founded and managed his own aviation business, serving as President/CEO of Aviation Essentials, Inc. (now closed), an aviation retail product, consulting, and pilot services company.

bookEric recently authored and self-published “Misfits, Pioneers, and Mission”a book about his ministry journey, and the book challenges readers to enliven in the church, a renewed focus on, local mission, engaging hospitality, nimble/flexible formation, and the development of creative and entrepreneurial approaches to evangelism in the 21st century.

Eric’s hobbies include: flying, flight instructing, playing guitar, cooking, and fishing.  Eric holds the rank of Major in the USAF Auxiliary (CAP) and serves as the Wing Chaplain for the Florida Wing. Eric supervises the ministry of over 20 Chaplains and 30 Character Development Specialists throughout the State of Florida.

Eric also holds an FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate, with Multi and Single Engine Airplane, Instrument ratings. He also holds an FAA “Gold Seal” Certified Flight Instructor Certificate, Airplane – Instrument.  Eric continues to serve as an active Mission Pilot flying local disaster relief and search and rescue missions. He also conducts flight instruction and cadet orientation flights.

Ministry in the Episcopal Church

Eric is a priest in the Episcopal Church.   Eric is the Rector of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, Naples, FL and you can learn more about St. Monica’s, by visiting the church’s website click here.  Eric also serves as the Dean of Naples Deanery (2018).  Eric also serves as a member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida (elected 2018).

Prior to his ministry with St. Monica’s, Eric served on the diocesan staff of Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida. Eric served as “Canon for Ministry Development.” His ministry included supporting congregations  in transition, serving as Diocesan Transition Minister, and overseeing as staff liaison, the ordination process in the diocese.  Eric also facilitated the clergy Fresh Start Program in the diocese, a leadership development initiative for newly called or appointed clergy.Eric also served as Rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Englewood, FL right after graduation from seminary.

Eric also served on Diocesan Council (2010-2012), and was the Chair of Diocesan Nominating Committee, Chair of the Dispatch of Business (Diocesan Convention), and served as a Deputy to the 2018 General Convention and served on the Evangelism and Church Planting Committee for the 2018 General Convention.  Eric has served the broader church as President of the Board for the Conference of Diocesan Executives (2015-2016).

Commercial Pilot and Professional Flight Instructor

FirstSoloEBJ 8-18-1981Early On
Eric began taking flying lessons at the young age of 15, at a small airport in Morristown, TN, under the experienced mentorship of Evelyn Bryan Johnson.  Eric made his first solo flight on his 16th birthday, earned his private pilot certificate two years later, and he has cultivated a love of all things aviation.

Professional Teacher of Flight
IMG_4648Eric began formal professional flight training in Naples, FL in 2000.  Beginning his initial training in the early summer of 2000, by that fall he had earned an instrument rating, commercial pilot certificate, multi-engine rating, and Certified Flight Instructor certificate.  Later with additional training, he added an instrument rating to his CFI certificate.  Eric has over 35 years of experience as a pilot and nearly two decades of experience as a flight instructor.

Eric has been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a “Gold Seal Flight Instructor” for his high quality and successful approach to instruction. Eric has logged over 1,700 hours of flight time of which, over 1,200 of those hours are as a flight instructor. Eric is a member of the “National Association Of Flight Instructors” NAFI.

chaplainCivil Air Patrol – U.S. Air Force Auxiliary

Eric currently holds the rank of Major, and serves as Southeast Region Chaplain overseeing the  CAP Chaplain Corps for the following Wings:  Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Eric joined the CAP Cadet Program in 1979, served until 1987, took a hiatus from the program until 1999, when he re-joined the USAF Auxiliary, and he has served actively ever since.  As a cadet in Tennessee, Eric served in multiple leadership positions in his local squadron and as a member of Wing staff at Tennessee Wing Headquarters.  Eric was awarded the General Carl A. Spaatz award in 1984 and was promoted to the rank of Cadet Colonel.  Chaplain_Corps_SealAt age 21, Eric transferred to the senior member program and was promoted to Captain.  

 In 2017, Eric received the Gill Robb Wilson Award , the pinnacle award for senior member professional development.   Eric also actively flies missions as a qualified CAP Mission SAR/DR (Search and Rescue) Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and Cadet Orientation Pilot.


One thought on “About Eric

  1. mfahnestock298

    Hi Rev. Eric Cooter, it was great speaking to you today about your Sermon; I enjoyed listening to it and comparing it to my conversation I had with a friend about a week ago. I will continue to follow your blog and read your posts.
    It was a pleasure to meet you.
    Mae Fahnestock



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