Eric began serving as the Preaching Minister at Eastern Hills in January 2017. He and his wife Jean have been married for 9 years and have two full-of-energy young boys, Wes and Kade. The Thornton’s love living out in the middle of nowhere and the outdoors, all things Disney (Eric probably takes obsessed up a notch on this one), the beach and any sport that involves a ball! Eric even played golf on the Oklahoma Christian University golf team.
Eric’s goal in preaching is to “always be faithful to the message and context of scripture, while bringing it to life in ways that the ancient texts will speak to us very relevantly today and bring us to desire following Jesus even more closely.” Prior to his ministry here at Eastern Hills, Eric joyfully served in full-time Youth Ministry for 12 years in 3 other Texas churches in Weatherford, Longview and most recently, Tyler. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Youth Ministry from Oklahoma Christian University in 2003.
Family Life Minister
Dan began serving at Eastern Hills in 1992 as the Youth Minister. Four years later he moved into his role of Family Life. Dan is the go to guy for Home Groups, technology, facilities, office, and custodial management.
Dan is married to Becky Filmon Rogers who teaches here in Athens. Together they have 4 kids, a daughter Allie, son-in-law Josh, and sons Ben and Blake.
Dan enjoys Upward sports (basketball & Soccer), Wilderness Trek, watching families grow (physically and spiritually). He can also be found cruising America's highways on his Goldwing, but only whenever he's not at McAlister's enjoying his own signature salad. He also says his favorite bible story is the Transfiguration of Jesus. "I'm awed by all the characters in the story and their reactions to what takes place."
Dale E. Arnett
Dale began full time ministry in 1982 and started working with Eastern Hills in 1999. With Judy at his side, he worked for the Westlake Church in Indianapolis for eighteen years before moving to Texas. During that time he was chaplain at the Marion County Sheriff's Department. Dale also started prison ministries in Indiana, Kentucky, and Texas.
Along with his duties to Eastern Hills, Dale presently is a Certified Volunteer Chaplain at the Beto 1 Unit, conducts Family Days at the Beto and Hamilton units, and is the Chaplain at the Henderson County Jail.
"My favorite Bible story is Jonah. I can relate to Jonah being reluctant to do what God wanted him to do. He hated the people that God wanted him to preach to. But God changed his heart and he warned the people. God also changed my heart. I used to hate the very people I am preaching to now. The story of Jonah shows that you can run but you can’t hide and that God gives second chances."
Children's Education Minister / Finance Minister
Tyna and her husband, Philip have been at Eastern Hills for over 20 years. She has been active in Children's Education most of that time. She recently accepted the task of being facilitator for our teachers and coordinating the curriculum. We know we can count on Tyna to do whatever is needed in both of these areas for our congregation.