Movers & Shakers – Luke Eldridge
Luke Eldridge lives to serve the people of Cookeville.
Whether coaching soccer at the YMCA, helping those in need through the Salvation Army, or leading as a city council member, his life is one dedicated to bettering those around him.
Luke stated, “When I think of being a servant, it’s about laying your life down and placing your desires or wants on the back burner for the betterment and success of those around you. I want to use every avenue provided to me to create an environment designed for success, just like I was given.” He continued, “I didn’t want for or lack anything growing up, and that can easily spoil, but this was offset by my parents. My mom provided the example of what being a servant to others looks like while my dad instilled a committed work ethic in me. I’m grateful to have learned from such a wonderful combination and seek daily to use the lessons they taught me to be my best for Cookeville.”
No matter how commendable, living with a servant’s heart isn’t easy.
To be everything for everyone, chaos, lack of sleep, and stress are inevitable.
For Luke Eldridge, busyness and impact exist together.
Beyond being a decision maker, coach, dad, and husband, he serves on multiple boards, is a youth leader (along with his wife Melissa) at Engrafted Word Church, and generates opportunities for those in need of employment in his workforce development role at Career Team.
“I spread myself thin and thankfully my wife helps me retain balance. I’ve learned to tighten my focus and involve myself in the groups that have the most effect.” He added, “I only have one life, and getting into places of high-level, servant leadership allows me to generate larger positive changes.”
To many, Luke’s most important roles are the elected ones, city council member and vice mayor.
In these positions, he directly affects the lives of those who call Cookeville home, doing so alongside fellow council members with his trademark approach, service.
“What’s really great about our council is that we all truly care about the individuals of Cookeville. We may not agree on everything, but at the end of the day we come together to do what’s best for our community.” Luke elaborated, “We know our decisions today will direct the future; each of us is mindful of that. Everything we do; how we manage roads, where we spend money, all of it is done with the people of Cookeville in mind. We’re not all made from the same mold; each council member is unique. While different, we all genuinely like and respect each other. This allows us to be honest, authentic, and passionate which is good for the community. We can actually work together in a practical, egoless way, and exist as a unit with a single focus, the people of Cookeville.” He concluded, “We work together to make sure what we do now creates the best possible outcomes for this beautiful city whether we serve in our respective positions again or not. We want the citizens of Cookeville to thrive because of the decisions we make.”
By placing himself second, Luke Eldridge puts our city first, for now and the years to come.
– by Andrew Buckner, photo by Cris Stroud