Navy chaplain overturns decision to lead Manistee

MANISTEE – ECHO His Love resumes its search for a new Executive Director.

The 501 (c) 3 association serves the homeless and low-income people in Manistee and Benzie counties. The board announced this week that Reverend David Carlson will no longer replace outgoing executive director Robin Paulus.

The board received a letter from Carlson indicating that due to “uncontrollable events in life” he had “unfortunately and reluctantly withdraw his letter of employment and refuse the post of executive director,” according to A press release.

It was announced in August that Carlson, a US Navy chaplain, would begin on December 1.


“It is with great disappointment that we took note of the letter, but we very much appreciated David’s kind words which stated that he would absolutely continue to pray and support ECHO in any way possible,” said board chair Sherry Pries in a statement to the News Lawyer.

Lisa Clarke, Director of Family Services at ECHO, has been appointed to an acting position who will oversee day-to-day operations during the search.

Paulus announced her departure in January and she plans to continue serving ECHO His Love remotely during the transition, according to a previous News Advocate report.

“Lisa Clarke has been my right hand in ministry for almost eight years, and I have every confidence in her ability to serve on an interim basis. We have a strong staff, an incredible board of directors and dedicated volunteers who will continue to serve our community while the board seeks once again, ”the statement from Paulus read.

Paulus plans to leave the organization’s service area by the end of the year, but plans to continue serving “with a different focus, ensuring a smooth transition of the ministry,” the statement said. She was appointed Executive Director of Love INC de Manistee in July 2006.

“The Board is grateful that Robin loves ECHO His Love and the community so much that she has continued in her role as we complete our research, and will remain so until the end of the transition,” Pries said in an August 20 press release.

The nonprofit organization started as Love For Children in 1992 with a mission to serve the needs of families with young children in the county.

This mission expanded to meet the needs of all low-income residents, and at the end of 2005 the name of the organization changed to Love INC of Manistee County. In 2006, the organization was expanded to serve residents of Benzie County.

In October 2018, the name of the organization was changed to ECHO His Love.

The organization serves an average of 1,200 to 1,500 people each year and provides basic needs, life skills training and a winter shelter for the homeless.

The non-profit organization operates a number of programs for low-income individuals and families in Manistee and Benzie counties. According to its website, ECHO “exists to mobilize churches in the region to transform lives by meeting physical and spiritual needs with the love of Jesus”.

To learn more about ECHO His Love, volunteer or donate, visit echohislove.org or on Facebook at ECHOHisLoveManistee.


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