Eric Ashley - Social Media
Eric currently helps manage the social media platforms of Adam's Road, actively engaging fellow "social-ites" while spreading the Good News on a daily basis. Eric was not born into a Christian home, but rather spent much of his life through high school being agnostic towards anything regarding spirituality. Towards the end of his senior year after some bad decisions left him feeling empty, he decided that there had to be more to life than what he was experiencing in the here and now.
A search for a church began. A number of years of bouncing around and half-hearted attempts ensued but he found a church in the area that felt like a good fit. It ended, though, on a sour note and Eric began a steep downhill slide into levels of depression that felt like an endless darkened tunnel. That depression led him to an experience that would end up changing his life forever.
In the winter of 2012, he began meeting with missionaries from Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eric had heard of this church before, but had no real knowledge about it. His meetings with the missionaries were great, and he quickly latched onto the feeling of warmth and community that the LDS Church offers to newcomers. During the course of the next couple of months, he was baptized into the Church, served as a Ward Missionary (accompany the missionaries to their appointments quite often to help them teach), and went to the Temple to do work there. Eric finally felt like he had a Church that he could call home.
Despite how happy he was there and how busy he was being kept, Eric slowly began to discover things in the deeper doctrine of the Mormon Church that didn't sit well with him. Those questions only became more intense as he soon discovered the "Secret" side of the religion as the questions he had were going unanswered when he presented them to others. He turned to the internet - a big no-no according to the Church - and discovered even more disturbing things that were kept hidden from him. One thing that was positive he came across was a music ministry named Adam's Road.
Eric went to the website and read the bios of the members, all former life-long members of the Mormon Church. He was intrigued about their stories of coming out of it and the joy they found outside of the LDS confines. It was the kind of joy he had been searching for. Eric reached out to the members and they responded with kindness and love - and a three hour phone call one night in October of 2012 really set the wheels in motion for his eventual departure from the church.
The road out of the Mormon Church was not an easy one, emotionally or otherwise. Eric found out that the church sometimes plays the part of an angry, spiteful ex in a broken relationship and it didn't relinquish without a fight. But his new friends in Adam's Road were there for him with love and support, and had the added benefit of having been through such a "break up" themselves.
Despite the extreme happiness of some of his friends, the journey from Mormonism to true Biblical Christianity was not as easy as connecting the dots. Eric struggled with numerous things such as guilt, remorse, and even a slight desire to return to the LDS Church because of the comfort of community that it offered him. He ultimately decided against it and, with the help and inspiration of an online friend in Washington State and a couple in his town, Eric returned to the loving arms of Christ's Grace and affirmed Him as his Savior. In the past, he made a couple attempts at it before, but this time was different. This time, it was for keeps.
Shortly thereafter, Eric made his way down to the historic Edgewater Hotel where the Adam's Road Ministry lives and works for a week in October 2013 - a week that included a lot of fun and fellowship, and ended with him being baptized by group member Micah Wilder. It was a symbolic gesture of washing away the baptism by the Mormon Church and entering into one with true Jesus. Eric's story is unique because he brings a different perspective to the ministry. Not having been born into the Mormon customs and traditions, a "convert" has the potential to have an even stronger "testimony" of the church because they lived it instead of being told it. It is not easy being a member - nor is it easy to become a non-member. Eric lived through both sides of the equation. While he still has little road bumps here and there as he still has a lot of friends online that he grew very close with during his time in the LDS Church, Eric is happy with where he is in life and knows that he lived through those experiences for a reason.
Currently, he resides in Elkhart, Indiana. He loves visiting dilapidated malls and shopping centers. He sometimes travels long distances to visit and take pictures of these "dead" malls and tries to visualize what types of stores used to fill the vacancies. Eric writes for a retro video game website as well and his other passions include technology and gadgets. But his main goal is to parlay his experiences and share them to help others grow closer to his Savior, Jesus Christ that means so much to him.