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Saturday, September 29, 2007

A little about me

I was raised Baptist but became heavily influenced by Pentecostalism in my highschool and early college years.
Around my sophmore year in college was when I started getting into alot of arguments/discussions with my friends on such issues like the sabbath, the Trinity, Baptism, once saved always saved....ect.

These talks eventually led me to the Early Church Fathers for some of my friends who were Seventhday Adventists and Oneness Pentecostals would bring up church history when our talks over scripture didn't go anywhere.

So instead of taking there word for it I decided to find out for myself what christians believed during the period of Constantine as well as what they believed centuries before he was born.
I don't know why but I knew then that I had to become Orthodox. When I came home from one of the breaks I called an Orthodox church in the Pittsburgh area.
I left a message on the answering machine but I never got a call back.

So after the break I found a continual Anglican ministry on the internet and they influenced me to try the Church of England. Around my last year of school I met an Orthodox person through my girlfriend at the time. He was her grammer professor and she wanted me to meet him. His name was Dr. Bart and we got along pretty well and he invited me to his Parish in montgomery Alabama. Before this time I only read an article from a Baptist who had a bad experience in Russia in regards to icons and the orthodox he met.

But when I went for the first time I didn't have a bad experience. It was wonderfull!
I didn't see anything wrong with it. The service was done half in greek and half in english, and I loved it. He gave me alot of books to read about Orthodoxy.

At the day of graduation my Orthodox friend and mentor asked when was I gonna become Orthodox. I told him that I was going to try the Church of England first...since he was raised Baptist and became Episcopal...only to become Orthodox later on in life.

I too wanted to see Anglo-catholicism and what it was all about. Plus I was still heavily influenced by the continual Anglican ministry I found on the web. There arguments were still in my head, and as I was walking away Dr. Bart told me that it was only a matter of time before I convert to Orthodoxy. Those words of his never left me.

After I graduated I went back up north for my mother was leaving my step father and she needed help. I had plans on living in Arizona and going to seminary there, but the Lord had other plans for mylife.

In Pittsburgh I eventually joined the ECUSA. I did that because there wasn't a convergence Anglican movement in my city. The people were nice but for the most part it was too moderate for my taste. I saw alot of things by the charismatic episcopal wing in the ECUSA that I didn't like.

I couldn't stand their theology, but I loved their heart for ministry. The anglo-catholics in the ECUSA had good theology but they didn't have the street ministry I so loved from the charismatics. I joined the Anglo-Catholic Parish, but I wasn't at peace there. I have read too much about Orthodoxy to really fit in. I was also a bit too conservative as well.
I was also upset at the slow pace the conservatives and moderates were taking in seperating themselves from the liberals who wanted to ordain more gay and women bishops.

It was a bit too much for me to handle so I stopped going to Church....well I went maybe like 5 or 6 times out of the year.
I saw myself dying spiritually, but i didn' know what to do about it.
Then it all happened. The Continual Anglican ministry I was following fell apart. And the Charismatic Episcopal Church had a major rift in September of 2006.
That's when I knew that I had to become Orthodox.

Everything that was keeping me away fell apart and the arguments that kept me away no longer made any sense. For i saw what the orther groups were doing and the errors they were believing in, so I knew that I would be better off in Orthodoxy. So December of 2006 was when I started looking back East. I ran into a Father Gregary online at a Charismatic Catholic website where alot of Charismatic Episcopals hang out at. I got in touch with him and he gave me a lead in Pittsburgh. I followed up on his lead and met a wonderfull Orthodox Priest at Saint George Cathedral.
I started visiting in late December and around the first week of Lent I told him I would like to become Orthodox. So we talked and in April of 2007 I was chrismated.

It's been a real blessing! I finaly have a place to rest my head. A place where I belong.






INLOVE Jnorm


R.I.P. Dr. Bart, who died in semptember of 2003

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