On a sunny Thursday afternoon in May, 2006 news came of the tragic death of Sgt. Elisha Parker. For most of us, life has never been the same as we came to grips with the reality of no longer having Eli in our midst. It was indeed a great loss for his family, church, community and nation.
We've often said that Eli's passing was both the saddest and proudest moment for our church and community. The outpouring of human compassion and national pride was so enormous that to this day, we shake our head in shear awe of how something so tragic can bring about so much good.
Two days after we learned of Eli's death, it was decided by the Parker family and Abundant LifeCommunity Church to name the church youth center in Eli's honor. From a young boy, Eli had grown up in the church when the idea of a youth center was in its developmental stages. It would take many years of planning and sacrifice before the youth center became a possibility. At the time the "Sgt. Eli Parker Community Youth Center" fund was established, there was $8,902 in the youth center building fund. We were filled with faith for the realization of a youth center in our community, but we knew it could take years to see it materialize. Since that time, over $75,000 has been contributed to the development of this youth center in Eli's honor. Though we still have further to go, we want to THANK YOU on behalf of the Parker family, the church and our community. You are to be commended for your kindness and for giving to such a worthy cause.
Again, thank you for your kindness and support in helping to make this an achievable reality. We could never have gotten this far without you and the immense support that has streamed in from hundreds upon hundreds from all across the nation.
We pray for God's richest blessings upon you!
Love in Christ Jesus,
Brian G. Lynch