Retired...and Sailing into New Waters! An Interview with Bob & Chris Simmons
The House has asked Bob and Chris Simmons, who have moved away recently, to share some of their memories from more than 40 years of ministry at East Hills Alliance.
The House: When did you start attending EHA? What pastors have you known during those years?
Chris: We started attending here 40 years ago...Came to hear a special speaker and were invited to the home of a family in the church after the meeting and became friends with their teenage kids and have attended ever since...We were newlyweds and had just moved here from Canada and didn't know anybody when we came.
Bob: We began attending EHA in October 1974 about two weeks after we moved into the Longview/Kelso community. They had a special speaker for a week, Bob Hobson with Torchbearers International. We became members in December 1974.
Bob: The pastors who have served at EHA while we have been here are:
Harvey Larson – Sr. Pastor
Alan Hurst – Assistant Pastor then Interim Pastor when Pastor Larson had a heart attack
Jon Huxtable – Sr. Pastor
Keith Kayser – Sr. Pastor
Mac McSweeney – Sr. Pastor
Steve Fowler – Sr. Pastor
Jesse Remple – Youth Pastor
Ann Hight – Assistant Pastor
Nick Stumbo – Asst. Pastor & Lead Pastor
Caleb Cox – Assistant Pastor
Jon Donohue – Asst. Pastor
Josh Droke – Assistant Pastor
Jesse Jorgensen – Asst. Pastor
The House: What ministries have you been involved in over the years?
Bob: In December 1974 Chris and I were appointed Youth Directors and we served in that capacity for seven years. I was also the 7th grade Sunday School teacher and two of my first students were Robin McRae and Richard Cooley. Also, because of my position as Youth Director I was on the Governing Board.
I served many years on the Board of Deacons.I have always been involved with the Sound System at EHA. Initially we had a six channel PA system in the closet in the entryway with small speakers along the soffits and an organ with a Leslie Speaker. We upgraded to a 16 channel Yamaha board and then the 24/48 channel Behringer board. For the past several years I have served as an elder.
Chris: I was involved in working with the Youth, Sunday School, VBS, Alliance Women, Deaconess, Social Fellowship, and Weddings and Connection Groups.
The House: What have been your favorite memories of EHA and its families?
Bob: The early years when we were in our 20’s and 30’s working alongside others in youth ministry, playing on the softball team and sharing experiences and concerns with others as we raised our family. Annual Missions Conventions and other special speakers we have hosted at EHA. The youth mission trip to run VBS at a small country church in Mehama, Oregon. Driving bus for youth mission trips to Mexico. The campaign to raise money and construct the addition on the north end of the church was a time of stretching everyone’s faith and trust in God. Sharing our home with other EHA families for many Thanksgiving and Easter celebrations.
Chris: Some of my favorite memories are of times with friends, often at our house...love having people here for Easter, Thanksgiving etc. Also we have been able to have a lot of missionaries stay at our house and been able to get to know them better.
The House: How many children? Grandchildren?
Bob: All three of our sons were born and raised while we have been members at EHA (Andrew – 1975, Michael – 1977 & Benjamin – 1982). Andrew and his wife Veronica have two children (Anni – age 8 and Akcxel – age 3). Michael and his wife Rachel have a newborn son (Sawyer). Ben & his wife Stephanie have three children (Elliott – age 7, Amelia – age 4 & Joy Ruth – age 1-1/2).
Chris: The 3 grandkids in Boise we don't get to see as often.
The House: Where are you moving? What are you looking forward to in your new home?
Bob: We have already moved to SeaTac. Our home is on Angle Lake and we are enjoying the feel of being on vacation every day. I have two sailboats pulled up on the beach and have been out sailing several times. We especially enjoy that we are only an eight-minute walk from Anni & Akcxel and they are at our home almost every day. Michael & Rachel and our newborn grandson are only about 8 miles south.
Chris: We love our new house because it is so close to our kids...I can walk over to see the grandkids in 10 minutes. We hope to have people visit us when we are moved in..Bob would love to take people sailing with him...living on the lake seems like being on vacation.