Canon Eric joined the Staff of the Bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma on July 1, 2020, serving as his Canon to the Ordinary. Prior to this call, he served as Rector of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church, Naples, FL. He served the broader church as Dean of Naples Deanery, member of the Standing Committee, Diocesan Council (2010-2012), Deputy to the 2018 General Convention, and member of 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). Prior to diocesan service, Canon Eric served as Rector of St. David’s Episcopal Church, Englewood, FL.
Prior to ordained ministry, Eric worked as an 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.
Eric is married to Terri Eros, a graduate of King University, Bristol, TN where she earned a BA in Economics. Terri has over 30 years of experience in retail store management, buying, store startups and remodels. Terri currently works in administration in Naples.
Eric’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 received a Master’s Degree in Music at the University of Tennessee. She is the Associate Band Director at Baron Collier High School, Naples, FL.
Eric earned a Master of Divinity degree from the University of the South, Sewanee, TN. He served as 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. Eric completed professional flight training at both Naples Air Center and (former) Ambassador Airways.
Eric fell in love with aviation at the young age of 15. He started flight training at a small airport in Morristown, TN, with aviation legend and flight instructor 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.
Eric began formal professional flight training in Naples, FL in 2000. Beginning his initial training in the early summer of 2000, and 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 represented the broader aviation community serving as a FAASTeam Representative for the Miami FAA FSDO. Eric has logged over 1,800 hours of flight time and nearly 1,300 of those hours are as a flight instructor. Eric is a member of the “National Association Of Flight Instructors” NAFI.
CIVIL AIR PATROL – USAF Auxiliary
Chaplain Cooter 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, Chaplain Cooter served in multiple leadership positions in his local squadron and as a member of Wing staff at Tennessee Wing Headquarters. Chaplain Cooter was awarded the General Carl A. Spaatz award in 1984 and was promoted to the rank of Cadet Colonel.
In 1986, Chaplain Cooter 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, and holds the rank of Major.
On July 1, 2020, Chaplain Cooter transferred to Southwest Region HQ as Deputy Region Chaplain as a result of his move to Oklahoma. Prior to this mov, Chaplain Cooter served as Southeast Region Chaplain overseeing the Chaplain Corps for the following Wings: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands . Chaplain Cooter continues to actively fly missions as a Mission SAR/DR (Search and Rescue) Pilot, Instructor Pilot, and Cadet Orientation Pilot, and serves as a Mission Check Pilot in Southeast Region.
Eric wrote “Misfits, Pioneers, and Mission”a book about his ministry journey. His book is a call to the church to renew her focus on local mission, to embrace engaging hospitality, to develop nimble/flexible formation opportunities, and to explore creative and entrepreneurial approaches to evangelism in the 21st century.