Pastor Eric Schall
I made the decision to give my life to Jesus when I was in Jr. High. Though I didn't really comprehend what that meant, thankfully God did. I moved in 9th grade to a place called Circleville, OH. We started attending a very traditional church, and everything went downhill from there.
My high school years were spent like a lot of guys...chasing girls and hanging with friends. During this time God had great grace upon me, and protected me from my own choices. I graduated in 1989, and went to BGSU, where boundaries and rules disappeared...
After being very involved in the college party scene (and nearly flunking out!), I started feeling the emptiness that my choices brought me. I was broken, empty, and sick of what I had become. Then God in His infinite patience began nudging me and reminding me that He still loved me. One night while walking on campus during a beautiful Spring night I looked up and thanked God for the beautiful night. As soon as I did that I got nailed by the Holy Spirit. Right in the middle of the campus He hit me and it was like total love, joy, peace filled me completely. I was overwhelmed! I felt drunk and couldn't walk straight the rest of the night. I finally surrendered 100% to the Lord. God began to put a hunger for His Word into my heart, and I started listening to Christian music 24/7. My drinking buddies thought I had lost it and joined a cult. But I had just fallen completely in love with my Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!!
It wasn't too long after that while I was on staff at a Christian camp in the Summer, that God called me into the ministry. It was during my morning devotions and I was in 2 Timothy 4. When I read, "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction." it was like the words were being shot straight to my heart. My response to God was something along the lines of "You're crazy, but if this is really you speaking, I'll do it as long as You are with me."
I went back to college, got involved in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship on campus and began studying through the A/G's Global University distance education program for my ministry credentials.
After graduating from College with a B.S. degree in Education I went on staff at a larger church called Dayspring Assembly as an intern for a year. It was during this time that I met my wife in church. When the internship was done we got married and moved to Indiana where I started my first full-time ministry position as a Youth Pastor at Hobart Assembly in Hobart, IN. Even though I was very "green," God raised up some incredible young people in that ministry and many of them are serving God in some form of ministry today.
After pastoring and building the ministry up for over 4 years, I felt God saying that it was time to move on. As it turned out, He was sending us just down the road a bit to Michigan City, IN about 20 miles away. What an incredible time of seeing God move show Himself in a generation of young people. We started Forerunner Youth Ministries with about 10 people with maybe 2 of those being saved. God began a work that continued on for 5 1/2 years. In that time the ministry grew to such an extent that we had to undertake a major remodeling project in our youth room. It was christened "The Loft" and was a Youth Sanctuary for our youth church which could seat over 300 young people. We prioritized worship and the Word, while seeking to do ministry in the most relevant way to our target demographic in the region...teens and 20-somethings in the region. It was a glorious picture of the church with people from all different ethnicities, economic background and social groups.
During that last year my wife and I sensed a change coming. I shared with my pastor that I felt like the Lord was saying it was time to move on. In August 2005 we stepped out in faith and have embarked on an unforeseen (and in many ways unwanted!) two year journey. It was during that season of wilderness and rest that God changed the course of my life. As healing and refreshing came, we also felt God leading us to search out a Lead Pastor position instead of looking for another Youth Pastorate.