Ben Eicher: Former Lutheran
Ben was born in a Lutheran Hospital and received holy baptism at St. James Lutheran Church in Burlington, Ohio. His father was a Lutheran minister. His father’s family historically had been Mennonite and his mother’s family were Irish Catholics. After graduating from college, Ben moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, eventually drifting away from church attendance altogether. While dating a Catholic girl, they talked about attending church regularly. The question was, “Which church?” Ben suggested they alternate one week at a Lutheran church and the next at a Catholic church. That lasted through two Lutheran services before Ben was ready to bail out on the brand of Lutheranism he was seeing practiced. On the other hand, his experience at the Catholic Mass was profound. It was wonderful to be in a church where not only was there weekly holy Communion but also daily if one desired it. A young man invited Ben to a Sunday-night Bible study. The leader, Tim Gray, was young, energetic, vibrant and biblically knowledgeable. Ben was transfixed and inspired. Shortly thereafter, he began to attend RCIA classes at the cathedral. In June 1994, he received the sacrament of Confirmation from Bishop Charles Chaput.