Like all the amazing stories that fill this page mine is yet another that displays the miraculous providence of God. I was raised in the Episcopal church as a child and, after my family stopped attending church, I was taken to Southern Baptist church by neighbors who were concerned for my spiritual well-being. I wandered aimlessly through adolescence from a spiritual standpoint always believing in God and trying to look good to others from a worldly standpoint but not really connected to Him.
After high school I attend the Naval Academy and was involved in the various extra church groups and attending Evangelical Protestant services in the area. It was during this time that Patrick Barnes and I first met through common friends in the area. He was not Orthodox at that point of his life and I knew him as “Brad Barnes,” his name at the time. We both graduated and went on our separate career paths and lives.
During medical school I met my wife to be who was Roman Catholic at the time. Raising our family in a common faith was important to us both. Although I had misgivings about Roman Catholicism from my Protestant background I converted for the sake of my wife and for our family to be. Much to my surprise I found reassurance and comfort in the stability of the church and its structure. After about seven years my family and I left the Roman Catholic church as a shared decision, worshiping in various Evangelical Protestant settings throughout the time of raising our children and after my military retirement and our relocation here to the Pacific Northwest.
Like many before us we experienced the turmoil and uncertainty of Evangelical Protestant church life. It was during this time that I stumbled on a podcast that mentioned the Orthodox church. That led me to the Ancient Faith website that opened a whole new world for me spiritually. Also, like many of the other stories here I was inexplicably drawn to the Church. I had considered myself so spiritually mature and all the sudden realized my poverty and ignorance, it was very humbling. I made it to St John’s exploring the bookstore first—what a blessing it is! I meet with Father Timothy who after hearing my story reconnected Patrick and I and started me on my journey to Orthodoxy. Father Timothy, Father Matthew, Patrick and so many others here at St. John’s loved, guided and led me to the church where I now belong. My wife has chosen to remain Protestant but has been very supportive of my journey to Orthodoxy.