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Eiland preaches first Sunday as Church Street Methodist pastor

Lance Eiland had his prayers answered when he got the news he was being appointed to serve as the pastor at Church Street United Methodist Church.

He preached for the first time at the church Sunday and is still as excited as when he first got the news.

“Although I was sent here, I had been praying to come here for two years. I had felt a hunger in my spirit which was God telling me for two years that you need to go to Church Street,” Eiland said. “My immediate response was ‘yes’ I was happy to be sent here and very excited to be part of this.”

Eiland graduated from Andalusia High School and then received his undergraduate degree from Troy State University before attending Emory University for his master’s degree.

He has served at several churches before coming to Selma, most recently at Robinson Springs United Methodist Church in Millbrook.

He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their first child on Christmas and found out about their expected delivery the day after Easter.

Eiland said he thought his wife might not be too keen on relocating, but she had a different reaction.

“I talked to my wife and she said we want to go where God is leading us, so we are here in Selma now,” Eiland said.

“I grew up in a small town and there’s always been a hunger in my spirit to be in a small town.”

Eiland said he is excited to be in Selma and is looking forward to getting to know people in the community.

“I think that this is perfect. This is where God needs me for this season and I’m so happy to be here with the people here and ministering with the people here,” he said. “I’m extremely excited. There’s a lot of great things that are happening in Selma.”

Eiland said he supports getting the church involved in the community and he is hoping to be able to do that soon.

“I plan on bringing the community to the church whenever I can, but I also believe in bringing the church to the community as often as possible,” he said.

Eiland said the people in the church have been accepting and welcoming.

“The welcoming of the church started before I even got here. The day we knew, I started getting letters and phone calls from folks almost immediately when it was made public,” Eiland said. “The day that we pulled up at the church, we got there and the church had already been there. They left me a Selma basket and everything was made in Selma. They made us feel welcome before we even walked in the door.”

Church Street’s Sunday morning service begins at 10:30 a.m.