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Take 5 with Emory Eldridge

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By Brad Bowman

Basic bio

Beavercreek, Ohio native

Carrollton resident since 1987

Georgetown graduate double-major

religion and accounting

Past pastor at New Liberty Baptist

Concord Baptist Church

Current pastor at Gracepoint Church

549 Carmon Creek Road, Campbellsburg

How did your path begin to becoming a pastor?

My parents never went to church when I grew up. In high school, someone invited me to go to church with them and then I started going. A couple of years after that, I basically felt God calling me into the ministry.

I attended Georgetown College where I met my wife and pursued my degree. We started a family. We had two children so it wasn’t your typical college experience. She graduated with an education degree and then I was able to finish my degrees.

I get a sense of fulfillment through the calling God has placed on my life and living in his will. I think it is the greatest feeling a Christian could have whether that means being a pastor, a Sunday school teacher, a janitor or an editor of a paper. It’s satisfying just knowing that you are doing what God called for you to do and you are fulfilling the purpose in which he has for your life.

How did you become connected to Gracepoint Church?

The founding minister Jeff Coombs was a friend of mine. I knew him when he started in the church. I had some connections with some people in the church through him and they found out that I was not in a church at the time. They gave me a call and I started preaching there in November.

 

What are the challenges in building or starting at a new church?

In this particular church, we are going to be establishing the church in the community. They don’t really have a lot of organization. We have to put some structure into it and reach the community with the gospel. We have plans to do that and there hasn’t been a lot of structure in the past.

We are going to petition the Southern Baptist organization for membership as a Southern Baptist Church. That will be a challenge. We need to work toward building the church for the glory of God. It may take a year or so.

We are just going to be good neighbors to the people who live close to the church and get out and visit with the community and let them know we are there for them. We will try and meet any need they may have and show them the heart of God through our church.

What do you bring to the table as a minister?

Twenty-two years of pastoral experience. I love people. I love working with people in any situation and I have a desire to see the church grow. I want to help it grow by reaching out to the community near the church and build a community around the church.

Have any funny stories during your experiences as a pastor?

I’ve got quite a few I could tell you. One of the real funny stories is I was out with a deacon on visitation in the community one night. The driveway was gravel and I had a little two-wheel drive Ranger truck. I was trying to go up this steep hill and it had a lot of loose gravel. I started spinning my tires everywhere on the driveway and my deacon had to get out and stand on the back bumper and kind of bounce on it to get us up the hill to the house. We finally got up to the house, I looked back and the people we were visiting were coming up the driveway behind us. I thought to myself, “Oh man, maybe we should just go home and try this again.”