* As we journey through 2015, this web post area will be devoted to helping everyone to meet and learn about our fellow congregants.
* Visit this link often to become familiar with another member/family with whom you worship to learn how/when they came to be a part of MJPC. New member profiles will be added every two weeks or so...
* Don't be reluctant to share your story with the web manager (Doug Ehrhardt , aka "Johnny") if he asks to shoot your picture so others can "learn" about you also!
This is the biographical sketch about Lee and Mannon Eldreth from the 2015 "We Are" posting on our website; it is reprinted here on the occasion of Lee's death on May 5, 2016.
* Lillard “Lee” Eldreth was born in the Flatwoods community of northwest Ashe County. His family moved to Beaver Creek after his father died when he was 14 years old. Lee joined the Army - where he was nicknamed Lee - directly after graduating West Jefferson High School in 1950. Meanwhile, Mannon (Blevins) Eldreth was born in the Beng community and her family moved to Beaver Creek in 1939. Lee and Mannon were close neighbors and grew up together, childhood sweethearts. Mannon was in the 1954 graduating class at Beaver Creek High School; she graduated Berea College in 1958 and she and Lee were married in 1956.
* The Eldreth's daughter, Ellen was born in 1962 in Schweinfurt, Germany. Their son, Daniel Lee, was born in 1964 in Fort Hood, TX; he died of a hemorrhagic stroke at age 35 in 1999.
* After service in Korea, Okinawa, Japan, Germany, Iran and Vietnam, Lee retired from the Army in June 1970 and the family returned to Ashe County in 1972; they transferred their church membership from First Presbyterian Church in Copperas Cove, Texas to MJPC. Charity Reeves (John’s Mother) was the first person to welcome them upon first attending MJPC. She was surprised to learn they were returning gypsies!
* Lee assisted his brother-in-law, Pete Gambill, at B&G Plumbing directly after returning to Ashe County, then worked for the USPS as mail carrier before devoting full time to his Christmas tree growing business which he says he plans to retire from after the 2016 season. Mannon retired as Director of Ashe Services for Aging in 1996.
* Although raised as Baptists, both Lee and Mannon are ordained Elders in PCUSA and Mannon was the first female Elder to serve MJPC. They've served on Session, but have also taught Sunday school, assisted with Bible School, gone on retreats and sung in the choir.
* The Eldreth's daughter and husband, Dave Verhaagen live in Charlotte with their 4 adopted children: Christy, 19 (Caucasian), Abbey, 18 (Guatemalan) and 2 Liberian siblings from West Africa, Daniel, 20 and Maddie, 18.