By Amy Bailey
Meet Eric McEachron: the newest member of the Spiritual Formations department. This semester, McEachronn is working as Assistant Director of Faith and Missions, supporting the director, Ben Norquist.
This is not McEachron’s first time at Bryan. He graduated from Bryan in 2009, with a communications degree.
During his time here he participated in various communication-related activities, like writing for the Bryan Triangle and participating in debate.
McEachron served as an RA for three years and spent time in Slovakia through the Acts Project. That summer inspired Eric to put down deeper roots overseas, particularly connected with missionaries.
Shortly after returning to his hometown of St. Louis, Mo., after his time abroad, McEachron’s best friend came to him with the idea of going to Japan to work with missionaries at a church plant, teaching English in public junior high and elementary schools.
And so he went for two years. In his time there he learned Japanese and became familiar with anime. Most importantly, he met his wife, originally from Indiana, who had already been there for two years prior to his arrival.
At first, Rachel and Eric were slightly resentful towards one another, he said. But their story began at a conference for Christian English teachers. The pastor was praying over the individuals. McEachron happened to be sitting beside Rachel and witnessed the impact of the pastor’s words.
He recalled, “She’s crying – it must’ve been really true. Oh gosh, this is awkward.”
However, it opened the door for them to be vulnerable with one another and talk about God’s plan in their lives.
McEachron asked her out two days later.
After the first date, he knew she was the one.
McEachron said dating in Japan opened awesome opportunities for Rachel and him to be an example of a godly couple.
Their biggest outreach together in Japan was their engagement ceremony. Engagement ceremonies are an old Japanese tradition that the church adopted to honor God in their culture. Fellow teachers, friends and peers were invited to a formal ceremony led by their pastor –who told the story of their relationship, pointing to God and the purity they maintained.
The McEachrons returned to the United States in April of 2012, and were married in August.
McEachron set two criteria when he looked for a job last year. First, he wanted to work with students. Second, his love and experience in missions needed to help him in his job. He felt God leading him specifically to work with college students, because that was the time when pieces of his faith and calling came together.
It was about that time when Norquist contacted McEachron about applying for the position of Assistant Director of Faith and Mission.
So what does McEachron do here at Bryan? You may recognize him as the announcer at the missions conference held at the beginning of the semester.
According to him, he does “pretty much whatever Ben does, except teaching the classes.”
From chapel programming to PCI leadership to Acts Project, and everything between – McEachron and Norqust have formed quite a team.