Eric Eugene Horst

Eric Eugene Horst, 52, of Birmingham, Ala., died at his home Feb. 12, 2024. He was born May 6, 1971, in Goshen, Ind., to Oren and Arlene (Sauder) Horst.

At the age of 16, he surrendered his life to Jesus and to the plans God had for him. He graduated from Bethany Christian High School in 1989; Hesston College, with an associate degree in Bible; and Eastern Mennonite University, with a bachelor’s degree in Christian ministries and youth ministry. God’s call on his life to be involved in pastoral ministry was revealed and developed during these years.

An ordained pastor, Eric served Cornerstone Mennonite Church in Hartville, Ohio, Boynton Mennonite Church in Hopedale, Ill., and Swamp Mennonite Church in Quakertown, Pa. Before moving to Alabama, he worked as director of adult and family ministries at Spruce Lake Retreat, Canadensis, Pa. He modeled servant leadership, working long summer nights to provide experiences that pointed people to Jesus. He also served as a speaker, worship leader and concert artist for a variety of camps and congregations.

Most recently, he worked as operations manager for the Harbert Center in Birmingham. He provided invaluable help to clubs and civic organizations as audio-visual specialist. He used his knowledge and leadership skills to bless Grace & Truth Church as media director.

Many will remember Eric for his passion to share Jesus with others, his willingness to sit with people in their hardest moments, his playful sense of humor and hearty laugh and his love for playing Rook. He was passionate about helping people find freedom in Christ and wanted them to understand that God has a unique plan for their life. This message was expressed as he wrote many original songs and poems. He began a ministry called “Cry 4 Freedom,” focused on helping people find freedom in Jesus.

He is survived by his father, Oren Horst of Pinson, Ala.; and a brother, Doug (Becky) Horst of Pinson. He was preceded in death by his mother, Arlene (Sauder) Horst; maternal grandparents Roy and Selma Sauder; and paternal grandparents Melvin and Elizabeth Horst.


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