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Gene Eshleman’s non-traditional ministry

Gene Eshleman was taught how to use tools by his father, Howard, who was a wood pattern maker. In fact, Gene even remembers watching his dad at work as far back as grade school. Now, as a retired pastor, Gene uses the skills his father taught him to carve 3-D Bible stories out of wood.

“When I retired, I was looking for different ministries,” said Gene. “Now, I get to do it in a non-traditional pulpit way.”  

Gene started carving when he and his wife, Suanne, moved into Broadway Apartments in March of 2022 and admits he still finds it challenging to carve humans.

“It’s very difficult around the nose/eyes, and the fingers break off sometimes,” said Gene.

However, Gene hasn’t let that hold him back. In just a little over a year he has created 19 Biblical scenes that are all located in a cabinet in their living room. He has even entered two pieces into PMMA’s Art is Ageless® juried art competition.

And there’s more to come.

Gene spends most of the day carving, beginning one hour after lunch and continuing until around 9 or 10 at night. His mission is to bring people closer to God by looking at his Bible stories. He even includes a short recording of the story that goes along with the piece that can be played by pushing a button on a small device.

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