OUR PASTOR - Eric Hoehn

Pastor Eric was born and raised in Illinois. After high school, he enlisted in the United States Airforce and served for six years. While in the service, he was active in the Navigators where he developed a passion for God’s word, prayer and discipleship.  


After completing his hitch in the Air Force, he attended College of DuPage and Western Illinois University earning degrees in Psychology and Computer Science. He remained active in the Navigators during college and met his wife Caren through the Nav ministry at WIU. They married in 1986 after graduation. Pastor Eric attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School where he earned an Master of Divinity degree.


Pastor Eric is ordained by the Evangelical Free Church of America and has served as a Youth Pastor, Adult Ministries Pastor, Small Groups Pastor, Singles Pastor and Interim Lead Pastor. He has overseen several other ministries. He also worked in the corporate world as an IT architect and consultant. Caren has worked as a Business Analyst and served in two churches as the Children’s Ministry Director.


Pastor Eric accepted the call as the Lead pastor at East Chain and he and Caren arrived in July of 2017. Pastor Eric enjoys cooking (especially slow smoking meats), reading theology, philosophy and history, listening to music (and occasionally playing classical guitar) and watching classic movies (the really old ones). He and Caren love their little dogs (like Toto), road trips and sitting in a local coffee shop chatting with folks who come in. They feel privileged to be at East Chain and to live in the state-line area.

Email him at Ehoehn@eastchain.com

Who We Are.

EC FREE exists to reach people for Christ—and that's the heart behind everything we do. We want to create an environment where you can be challenged and encouraged, find Christ-centered community, and grow in your faith.


We care about you.

East Chain E. Free Church is a place where you can connect with people who you can relate to. We weren't designed to go through life alone, and we believe this is a place where you'll find lasting relationships—relationships that encourage you, challenge you, and bring you joy.

As you encounter God each weekend, you'll begin to experience the kind of real life change that only comes from knowing Him. And, as you walk out the door, we hope you feel refreshed and ready to take on all the ups and downs life throws your way.

Our Mission Statement.

We love kids and students.

Maybe as a kid you didn't enjoy going to church, and your parents dragged you there, kicking and screaming—but Kids and Student Ministries at EC Free is different.

During each weekend service, we have services just for kids, too! In Lil' K  (3 years-k) and Big Kids Church (grades 1-4), kids learn about God in a way they can understand, with fun music and dynamic teaching designed just for them.

On Wednesday evenings, middle school and high school students get together at The Refuge (grades 6-12) to hear awesome music and messages that apply to their lives, while building solid, encouraging relationships with their friends and leaders.

We believe in serving our community.

Do you see your home, workplace, neighborhood, and city as a place to live out the mission of the Church? Many of us will find the broken-hearted, the disconnected, and the underserved right in our backyards. That's why we've partnered with several community organizations to reach the hurting and broken in our communities.

Ruby's Pantry is a monthly food service our church hosts for the



We also sponsor the Martin County Fair Church Service.


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