Who I Am:
My name is Eric. I’m the husband of my best friend, Marissa. Together we have four amazing kids.
I’m the founding pastor of Coastal City Church now known as Rivers United Church.
In 2016 Coastal City Church merged with Mount Carmel Church. Mount Carmel was a 150-year-old church that had, by all metrics, died. However, the remaining 18 or so people of Mount Carmel hadn’t given up hope and never stopped praying. They knew that something drastic was going to have to happen because nothing else had worked.
Then, in the spring of 2020, the 100 people that made up the core of Coastal City Church merged with another healthy church because we believed together we could do more. That new church is Rivers United Church.
God has been faithful now in the complete turnaround of two ministries I have had the joy of leading.
What I Live To Do:
First, I live to serve God. Second, I live for my family. Third, I live to lead and teach others. Fourth, I want to do whatever it takes to connect people who are lost, unaware, and misinformed regarding Jesus to who he really is for them.
And finally, after more than 20 years in full-time ministry leadership, I have a unique set of experiences to draw upon to help other ministry leaders grow and serve more effectively. So, I now also serve others as a coach and consultant helping churches and ministries revitalize and become healthy to once again be agents of kingdom-building endeavors.
Oh, and I like to saltwater fish and I’m currently preparing to do some weeklong backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail. Why? Because I want to serve well, lead well, love well, and rest well.
What I’m Currently Doing:
Adopting two of our children from Bulgaria had a very profound impact un my wife and me.
Also, during the process of funding our adoption, I started doing some website design to make some side-income. That side gig has turned into a full-fledged digital marketing agency called In Transit Studios.
With this success and all that God has blessed us with; we have decided to leverage it all to start a new non-profit to help others in their adoption journey. We will also work through our non-profit to plant churches in other countries to raise up believers to care for the orphans in their communities.
- In 2000, I became the director of a small Christian summer camp that had about 300 people year-round attending events and five seasonal staff. When I left, we had four year-round staff, twenty-five seasonal staff and hosted over 3,000 people annually.
- In 2014, I moved from camp ministry to serving as a Campus Pastor at a multisite church in Ohio.
- In 2016, my wife and I planted Coastal City Church in Eastern Virginia.
- In 2019, I started a web design business called Coastal City Creative.
- In 2020, we purchased In Transit Studios, announced we were transitioning away from serving as a co-lead pastor of the church and into starting a non-profit.
I grew up in a Christian home and attended church almost every Sunday. However, I never surrendered my life to Christ, just my Sundays. I attended a small rural school and was one of the only students with a disability. I was born legally blind and utilize adaptive equipment to help me see better. To be frank, I was bullied before it was a thing. I could have turned it over to Jesus, but instead…I blamed him.
When I headed off to college, I discovered people thought I was funny….when I was drunk. I had no experience making friends in a healthy way, so I did all the unhealthy things to get people to like me.
My life just kept getting darker. A couple years later I had a decision to make; call my parents and ask to move home or sleep on the street. I was broke, lonely, and scared.
At this darkest point of my life, God sought me out. After jumping from job to job I landed a summer gig as a cook at a summer camp. Over the next three summers, I kept going back to that place and God kept leading me to take steps of growth. My road to surrender to God’s way was long. But today I’m “all-in” seeking and following God’s way daily.
In 2009, my life went from good to great. I married my best friend and the most beautiful woman I know, Marissa. In 2010 we had our first child and then came along our second in 2012.
In 2016 we moved our two kids from Ohio to Virginia to follow God’s prompting to plant a church a here. I see Virginia as a gateway to the world.
In 2019 we adopted two children from Bulgaria.
And today, the journey continues…….
Consumed By The Call,