Eric and his wife Terry recently moved to Omaha from Kansas City to join the Citylight Omaha team. Eric is not a stranger to the Citylight family. He has been the co lead pastor at Citylight Kansas City, a church he helped launch five years ago.

Eric grew up in a military family overseas in Germany. At the age of three, Eric moved from Germany to California and then to Kansas City, his dad's hometown. It was there a neighbor invited Eric to church for the first time.

“I was discipled before I became a Christian,” Eric shared. “At 13 my neighbor and I had something in common. When he played football in the Air Force he played against Joe Montana who was a big hero of mine. My neighbor started to disciple me, encouraged me in my faith, gave me an understanding of Jesus and how Jesus changed his life and how Jesus can change my life too. He invited me to church and I never looked back.”

After high school and for the next six years, Eric travelled as a missionary with different youth ministry organizations. He was a youth worker, a schoolteacher, and served overseas in the 10/40 window to unreached people groups. He ran youth mission sites in Kansas City and Minnesota. Throughout this, God continued to open doors inviting Eric into His mission. After serving in Haiti after the deadly earthquake, God opened another door during Eric’s seminary studies with an online option so that he could move to Nebraska. A local Omaha church invited Eric to serve on staff as the Missions Pastor.

“I knew I always wanted to be in the Midwest,” Eric described his choice to move to Kansas City and now Omaha. “When I was in the East and West Coasts, I knew that I wanted to raise my family here.”

With his new position, Eric led partnerships and outreach projects in area North Omaha churches. He and Terry met and married in 2014 and were content with doing ministry in Omaha. Church planting was never a thought. However, in 2018, Citylight Council Bluffs and another local church invited the Carpenters to a new Kansas City church plant. For the past five years, Eric has been launching, serving, and preaching to God’s church. Oh, and growing his family too. He and Terry have four children under the age of seven: Avery, James, Rylan and Jaden.

“Our kids are at the age where we want our family to be around other family members,” Eric explained why they moved back to Omaha. “We want to serve in a church long term so that our kids are a part of it long term. Omaha is a great place to do that and so is Citylight. Terry and I want to be a part of a community where we make disciples. We are disciple makers.”

Not only does Eric have the heart and background for care ministry, but his education reflects care ministry as well. Eric has a Doctorate Degree and is currently finishing a counseling degree from Crown College.

“One of the reasons why I chose counseling is because as a Pastor I saw a huge need in people especially after 2020,” Eric said with a seriousness and tenderness. “I want to help people who are suffering from depression, addiction, and marriage marital issues. Through the counseling program and pastoring, we felt God wanted us to do that. God has given me a heart for people who are hurting and in need.”

The Carpenters are excited to serve and invest in the Citylight Omaha Church. They are settling in as a family in the Bennington community. Eric is all about fun too and loves to watch “a lot of” sports, being in the outdoors, and coaching his kids in all kinds of sports and activities. Eric is thankful for Citylight and mostly to God.

"God gave my family a clear understanding and invitation to what He wanted us to do and we have never had to question it," Eric concluded. "Thank you for the continued prayers and support for our family as we transition back to Omaha."

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