Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Our New Worship Leader

I just received this wonderful news from our pastor, about the new worship leader coming on staff at Fair Oaks. What an anwer to prayer for our church body!

Dear Fair Oaks Family,

I am pleased to inform you that Eric has accepted the call to join our ministerial staff team as Minister of Worship and Music. He and Yvette are excited as they consider the prospects of serving alongside of us as we "gear up for growth."

Both Eric and Yvette are currently teaching in Christian Day Schools; their school year finishes around the middle of June. Consequently Eric will start July 1st.

In addition to our music ministry Eric will be overseeing our small group ministry.

Thank you for your prayers and patience as we have carefully searched for the right person. We also truly appreciate Debra and Howard who have stepped up to help us in our worship leadership during this interim time.

Warmly, Pastor Steve McCoy

Also, Eric & Yvette were interviewed for a recent church newsletter; here's the article if you missed it:

Eric was born in Temple, Texas, and is a self-proclaimed "Army Brat." His father's service took them to Oklahoma, Illinois and North Carolina. They stayed in Fayetteville, N.C. for 3 ½ years where Eric was able to attend and graduate from high school. He has a younger sister, Sara, who will be relocating to the Sacramento area this week with her husband who's in the Air Force. Eric's parents currently live in Alexandria, VA where his father, still in the Army, is a 2-Star General stationed at the Pentagon.

He grew up in a strong Christian home with both parents always modeling church leadership by their own involvement in various staff and/or volunteer positions. He always attended church, "starting in the nursery," and always knew of God's love. At the age of eight he started pondering Christianity on a personal level: "How do I know I'm a Christian? Will I go to heaven?" He distinctly remembers an evening in March 1986 where he got out of bed and took these questions to his parents. Their response was to turn off the T.V., get the Bible and tackle each question, eventually leading Eric to receive Christ that night.

His faith ebbed and flowed during his adolescence. Attending camp after his sophomore year and feeling convicted that "his faith wasn't as real as it could be," Eric re-dedicated his life to Christ. As he approached graduation from high school he started feeling nudged to serve in ministry. At the same time, he was feeling pulled towards the military and opted to enroll in the Coast Guard Academy. God continued to nudge him toward ministry, however, and the struggle of what to do intensified. He was advised that if he was going to leave the Coast Guard, it was better to do it sooner than later, so he made the difficult decision to resign. The process to leave was almost as rigorous as the process to get in, but through it all, Eric was always upfront and explained his need to serve. Eric's decision was affirmed when the Coast Guard released him with an honorable discharge.

At this point, his parents were in Dublin, California. He came home to start to looking for a Christian college. During this period, he joined his parents in attending Valley Community Church in Pleasanton. Eric's chosen ministry focus was in worship. While in Dublin, Eric was able to serve as an intern with Tom Grassi, the Worship Leader at Valley Community. This opportunity served as a great affirmation and preparation for service as a worship leader.

Because of finances his search for a college was challenging, but he eventually checked out California Baptist University (CBU) in Riverside. From the beginning, he felt at home and was also very impressed with their music program. He also discovered, while meeting with the Financial Aid staff, that because of his time at the Coast Guard Academy he was able to qualify for a number of government grants and scholarships that paid for his four years at CBU. Eric shares, "God was demonstrating His control and walking him through his decisions. I have no reason to doubt Him and can completely trust His leading."

He started at CBU in the Fall of '96 and met his wife, Yvette, there the following year through a campus ministry they both served with. They both graduated in June of 2000 with Eric attaining a B.A. in Music, with an emphasis in Church Music. After graduation, he took a job as the full-time Music & Youth Minister at a church in Big Springs, Texas. He and Yvette were married in June of 2001 and she joined him there. Interestingly, while Yvette had been born in Texas, she grew up in Concord, Dublin and Livermore. Yvette still has sisters in the area - one here in Concord and one in Castro Valley.

Eric's goal was to get his Masters, so after 3 years he left Texas for Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. He graduated with a Master of Arts in Theology in June of last year. While attending seminary at night, Eric was the Music teacher & Chapel Coordinator at Arcadia Christian School (K-8). He has also taught Jr. High Bible, band and drama in addition to creating a Jr. High worship band.

He thoroughly enjoyed the in-depth study of God's Word during seminary and his time at Arcadia Christian. It's been a lot of work, but God has affirmed him all along the way. When asked what he wants people to know about him, he shares, "I'm an easy-going, easy-natured guy and get along well with people." "I love the Lord and people, and enjoy building relationships."

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