by Hal & Tammy Eichorst
It was a snowy Christmas Eve night 17 years ago. Over two inches of snow had already accumulated and the roads were becoming treacherous. We were heading to the Christmas Eve service at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, but, as we were pulling out of our neighborhood, it was obvious that we weren’t going to make it on time. We decided to check out the new United Methodist Church, in the shopping center across the street, called The Promise.
We were happy because we would not be late to church, but we questioned the legitimacy of a church in a strip mall. We were welcomed warmly by Pastor Rusty Allanson and Pastor Jennifer Pollard. To our pleasant surprise, the Christmas Eve service was both meaningful and enjoyable.
We began to occasionally attend The Promise. Then, with a new building under construction, the congregation was invited to go after church one Sunday to write bible verses on the new studs and concrete floor before the drywall was put up.
A few months later, the new church building opened and our faith journey truly began. We went from being Creasters, attending church on Christmas and Easter, to going to church occasionally, to then going twice a week or more and becoming faithful followers of Jesus Christ. We planted our faith flag and became members of The Promise.
The Promise has become an integral part of our lives. It is where all our children have been baptized. It is where we have learned the Bible through five different disciple classes. It is where we have made lasting friendships through our church family. We have also experienced meaningful adventures on youth mission trips to Louisville, Kentucky; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Niagara Falls, New York; and to Lincoln County, West Virginia. We even had a little fun as Sonny and Cher in the talent show.
Tammy likes to say how being late that Christmas Eve night led to so many good things. That’s hard to argue! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone back at church when the time is right.