Pastor Clarke was teaching 4-year-olds about God by age 16

"It is a calling that hasn’t diminished in time."

Pastor Eric Clarke
  • Pastor Eric Clarke

Mountain View Community Church

1191 Meadowlark Way, Ramona

Mountain View Community Church

Membership: 700

Pastor: Eric Clarke

Age: 58

Born: Long Beach

Formation: Eastern Oregon State College, Portland, OR; Western Seminary, Portland, OR; Masters International University of Divinity, Evansville, IN

Years Ordained: 10

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Eric Clarke: How do we help people live and love more like Jesus? We want to help people become Christ followers. If Jesus is the only way to eternal life as we believe he is, then there’s nothing better or more freeing than coming to learn to love and live like him. It’s why we’re created in the first place.

SDR: What is your main concern as member of the clergy?

PC: There’s so much polarization in today’s society so that we seem unable to talk to one another and honor one another. This polarization has hurt our ability to communicate, but I want to communicate with others, which I think will help drive my life and other people’s lives to honor and respect one another. To accomplish this goal, for years our church wanted to be a contributing member of Ramona and so we formed a coalition of churches called Love Ramona.  Together this group of churches committed themselves to going to serve the community in ways that show we care and want to extend our hand in friendship to the rest of the community.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PC: As a teenager I ran away from home, and through a variety of circumstance, the family I wound up with showed me love and showed me God’s love. When I embraced that love I knew I wanted to be involved in ministry and share that good news after my own experience. Interestingly enough, I was 14 when I first experienced this love. By the time I was 16 I knew I wanted to give back in kind. I began teaching at the church the family that took me in belonged to — and believe it or not, I began teaching the four-year-old class. I had no faith background and figured by teaching these young children I could learn about the stories in the Bible. That’s when I realized I had a passion for communicating the good news of Christ and I responded to the eternal calling to become a minister. It is a calling that hasn’t diminished in time.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PC: We exist to grow a community of Christ’s followers who live and love like Jesus. Within that context, in our own church we minister to the needs of the community in terms of helping out with physical needs and also a compassion ministry.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PC: Since I travel a fair amount, I’ve had opportunities to see God work in many different places. I have managed to visit all 50 states of the U.S. and 45 foreign countries. I can say I’ve never been to a place without God, even if those places did not have a great religious presence.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PC: Following the traditional teaching on the Bible, I believe I have a choice to say whether I want to be in God’s presence when I die or say I don’t want to be in God’s presence. The Bible calls those places heaven and hell, and I want to encourage everyone to be in God’s presence.

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