Growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Pastor Eichinger was raised in a loving family which was actively involved with Zion Lutheran Church.
As a kid, he developed a love of comics, and discovered that he had a talent for running. He became a highly successful student athlete, winning competitions throughout junior and senior high school and college. He also developed a love of acting, and after majoring in theater at Michigan State University, he had his sights set on a possible career as a stand-up comedian. But after serving as a missionary in China, where he taught English for two years, he pledged his life to ministry and attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
While in China, Pastor Eichinger met his future wife and visited the gravesite of his life-long running and missionary inspiration, Eric Liddell. The trek to Liddell’s gravesite would become the impetus for Pastor Eichinger’s first major writing project, which would open the door to his writing career.
Today, in his 15th year behind the pulpit, Pastor and his wife Kara rejoice in the blessings God has poured into their lives, not the least of which are their three children—Elsie, Lukas, and Isaak, a jackpot trifecta of youthful delight.
Director of Music
Since 2014, Dr. Marija Loncar Hallman has been serving as the Music Director and Organist of Our Savior Lutheran Church and has loved every moment of it, even during the year of online services during the pandemic. A native of Croatia and Serbia, Marija emigrated to the United States after receiving a full ride merit scholarship. She obtained her Master of Music at the University of Southern California and then embarked on the long journey towards a performance career. These efforts led to concerts at some of the nation’s most esteemed organ venues including St. Patrick’s Cathedral and St. Thomas 5th Avenue in New York City, the Crystal Cathedral of Orange County, Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, many performances for the American Guild of Organists, and numerous engagements and master classes abroad. In 2010, she was offered another scholarship to complete her Doctorate of Music Arts at USC. She finished her DMA in 2015, majoring in Organ Performance with specialization in Choral Music, Sacred Music, and Music Education. Besides her work as organist and choir director, Marija is also a teacher. In 2015, she was given an opportunity to start a music ministry for children at church, the Our Savior Lutheran Church Music Academy. This program provides free of charge instrumental music lessons to the children in the community. One of the highlights of Marija’s week is Thursday evening, the choir and hand bells rehearsal where she gets to not only make awesome music to praise God, but also do that with amazing groups of people.
Director of Music, Chinese Assembly
Esther was born and raised in Tainan, Taiwan. She was admitted and then received 4 years of professional music education by the special music program. She learned piano, violin, music theory, musicianship…etc and built a strong foundation of her musical ability which God has used greatly later on in her life.
At 12 years old, she lost her earthly father and moved to Taipei. She started going to a Baptist church because her mother was a Christian. She then received Jesus as her personal Savior at age of 13 and started serving God in church by playing piano in the worship services.
She immigrated to U.S.A. with her mother when she was 18. She received her B.S. degree in Business Administration option in Accounting at California State University, Los Angeles and got her CPA License later on. While being at school and working, she never stopped serving God in church with her musical gift. She had served in Mandarin Baptist Church of Pasadena, and Mandarin Baptist Church of Los Angeles. After quitting as an accountant from the City of Los Angeles, God miraculously led her to Lutheran Church of the Cross to work as the music director for almost four years. She always feels grateful and blessed to be used by the Lord.
Her favorite Bible verse is from the Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Creative Arts Director
Lee is the Director of Creative Arts at Our Savior providing creative elements for worship services. She works with Pastor Eichinger and talented volunteers to produce drama sketches that bring the message to life. Lee also teaches drama classes for children using fun activities to encourage them to speak and present themselves well in front of others and develop their own unique creativity to glorify God.
She is the author of Jesus, Son of God, a book that includes drama sketches for Advent and Lent with staging notes and stories drawing on 20 years of experience.
Elizabeth was born in Chicago, but was raised in Hong Kong from the 60s to the 70s. Elizabeth returned to Los Angeles in 1979. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science at California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1986. Her husband loves to travel and has taken her to several countries in Asia and Europe. Elizabeth is a third-generation Christian. She has been a churchgoer for more than 50 years, but only becoming a Lutheran more than 20 years ago, and still learning about how to be a better Lutheran. She praises the Lord for a Christian husband of 30+ years and two adult children. Elizabeth's "go to" Bible verse is (New Living Translation)Psalm 94:19: “When doubts fill my mind, your comfort gives me renewed hope and cheer."