This may sound a little strange but the reason I converted to Orthodoxy was because of an Evangelical Pastor.
I was raised Roman Catholic, went to a RC University, but was never really very well connected to my faith. I always had nagging questions that nobody fully answered. Questions such as, why pray to Saints and The Mother of God, why do we even call her the Mother of God, why hold the Pope as infallible, among many others. Most the time the answer given was because the Church says so.
After I graduated, I met my wife, whose father was an Evangelical Pastor. My Father-in-law is a very kind and generous man. He has helped my wife and me in so many ways and I am very grateful for him. However, being a good Evangelical Christian, he would always throw out questions and comments about how Catholicism had strayed from the truth and how they developed doctrine that was not biblically based. He mentioned how the Immaculate Conception & Papal Infallibility were recent innovations. For the most part, I would just listen and not argue back. This is something based in my cultural heritageÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦we don’t argue with our elders, no matter how wrong they may be! In my mind, I would rationalize that anything that seemed not to be biblically based came from the tradition of the ChurchÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¦ and leave it at that. However, one day, I finally decided that I was going to prove it. I was going to find and read the Church Fathers where, I thought, I would find all the answers to all of my Father-in-Laws questions.
I checked out two books from the local library, Eusebius Church History and The Orthodox Church by Bishop Kallistos Ware. I only intended to read the first part of The Orthodox Church as it had the history of the Church. I knew that the Orthodox and Roman Catholics were related in some way and shared a common history during the first century. To my amazement, I learned my Father-in-Law, to some extent, was correct. Some Roman Catholic doctrine was not based on the bible or Church Tradition! Reading this book made me realize that what I thought was the True Church was not. I recalled seeing an advertisement in the Newspaper that said “The Antiochian Orthodox Church, the Truth since 33AD” at the time I was a little offended by this statement and passed it off as just another Protestant Church claiming something it was not. Obviously, I knew no better at the time.
Since then, I have learned so much about the Christian Church through my priest. The answers to those nagging questions I had were now completely clear to me. Last May, my daughters and son were baptized and my wife and I were brought into the church through Chrismation. We have found a real connection to Christ through his Church and the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. There is not space enough to explain the change in my life.
I hope your search goes well. I will pray for you!