Hi! My name is Eric Wilkes and I’m so grateful to be on staff here at Prince of Peace! I am originally a Louisiana native hailing from it’s capital of Baton Rouge. My family is blessed with many branches and I grew up as the youngest in the family. I graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor’s in General Studies where I studied music and communication in hopes to pursue music ministry full time. After graduating I traveled nationally and internationally as a full time freelance musician playing primarily at retreats and conferences.
I was born the son of a very faithful and passionately Catholic mom. When I was very young she instilled in me two very important truths that have stayed with me; God is your loving Father and He will always provide for you. As the son of a single mom who had four kids and just as many jobs, I watched God provide everything we needed and more through the help, support, and generosity of others in our family and in our community. My faith grew in a new way after meeting my lifelong best friend who encouraged me to enter into a more personal relationship with Jesus. At the age of twelve, while at a conference, I had a powerful experience in prayer through music and shortly after, felt the call to lead people in prayer through music because of the powerful experience that I had. At the age of 15, I began leading worship and began playing drums for the youth mass at my home parish. It was my love of music that led me to discover the richness of my Catholic faith because when I would play music for retreats, I would listen more intently to what was being said. Music played a great role in pulling me outside of myself and closer to Jesus. After my freshman year of college, I was asked to serve with NET Ministries and served for two years on a mission team leading retreats for high school and middle school students all over the country. After serving with NET Ministries, I returned to Louisiana, obtained my Bachelor’s degree, and continued to pursue traveling music ministry full time after graduation.
Having traveled to almost 40 different states and three different countries over the course of four years, I found a deep desire growing within me for a place where I could continue to share my gifts without having to leave the community that I lived with or the people I was serving so often. I wanted consistency, community, and a place where I could grow in ways that I wasn’t while traveling. Through the encouragement of one of my best friends, I took a leap of faith and applied for the open High School Youth Minister position at Prince of Peace and I am so grateful to have been accepted. This community has welcomed me with such warmth and hospitality and there is a vibrancy here unlike any that I have seen in all of my travels. The youth that I get to work with are incredible and inspire me to want to be the best youth minister that I can be. I am so grateful that God has called me to grow in community and share my gifts here at Prince of Peace.