Eli's primary role in the church is to introduce young people to Christ; to disciple them in spiritual growth, build relationships with students and spend time on their turf to train them in serving Christ with their life. Of equal importance is to assist parents or guardians in raising their teenagers to be Godly spiritual leaders. He helps prepare students spiritually, emotionally and mentally for life as a Christian in the "real world" during and after Jr/Sr high school. He plans, organizes and implements numerous events, outings, and mission trips throughout the year. Eli does an exceptional job of balancing a leadership role all while having an absolute blast with his students. It's important to show the students that Christians have fun too, and one visit to our Student Ministry gathering and you'll see that they have lots and lots of fun all while serving and learning more about God.
Check out more about our Student Ministry by clicking here
Spouse: Natalie Mathers
Year Married: 2014
Year began working at SUCC: 2014
Education History: Graduated high school from the infamous Orleans High School in 2010. Then, graduated from Johnson University in Knoxville, TN with a BA in Youth Ministry/Preaching in 2014. I had worked part-time throughout college in anything from camp ministries to Boys and Girls Club, but South Union is my first full-time ministry and it’s the absolute best place to be.
Faith Background: Growing up, I was generally the kid that went to VBS and that was about all that I ever stepped foot into a church.
Then, my sophomore year of high school, a friend named Devin Ward and Nick Breedlove (student minister) continued to invite me and stayed consistent with that and made me feel welcomed. Therefore, I began to attend almost every student ministry event, and eventually, my father started attending Sunday mornings with me. On February 1, 2008, I was baptized (Praise God), which is also the same day the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl (Praise God, again!). From there, I felt God tugging on my heart and calling me to go to Johnson to seek a degree in Youth Ministry. The rest is history, but that’s where my passion for students comes from.
Book: Soul Keeping by John Ortberg and In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
Movie: Gladiator, Space Jam, Star Wars (Episode IV, V, VI), Lord of the Rings trilogy
TV show: The Office, SportsCenter, Friends, ESPN 30 for 30 (in that particular order)
Place to Eat: Lou Malnati’s Pizza (Chicago), Buffalo Wild Wings, Bub’s Burgers, Which Wich and Chipotle
Vacation Destination: Family in Florida or Boston
Something unexpected we might not know about you: I can dunk a basketball (on an 8 foot hoop)