I had no clue that this board would exist nor that I would become moderator of it! Anyway, lets kick it off with a bang and a survey. If you are a convert or revert please share your story here.
I don't really want to type out a full conversion story, but here's a quick run down:
- Baptized Catholic as a Baby
- Raised mostly non-religious (w/ nominal religious periods depending on the step father)
- A few months after graduating high school in 1997 I hit rock bottom and started becoming more interested in "Religion"
- Got "saved" in the fall of 1997 in a Church of God (out of Anderson IN) congregation. I should add that all I really did at this point was make a sincere decision to study the Bible, God, etc (ie. I wasn't developing a relationship with God, but rather, I was just learning about God and the Bible). In addition to the Wesleyan Holiness Church I attended, I was learning a lot from an Ultra-Fundamentalist, Mid-Acts Dispensational, Open View, Theonomist. He was the kind of guy who--I kid you not--once thanked someone for a "compliment" when told that he was "the king of judgment". He believed in confrontational evangelism in the most extreme sense, he believed it should be used often, and he believed in being judgmental and "righteously hating" sinners. This wrapped up in the theological perspective that while the civil authorities should utilize the Old Testament laws, a new dispensation had started with Paul in Acts 9: that being one of grace! That's the type of ministry I became a Christian through!
- I went to a Denominational liberal arts college as a Bible Studies major, but by the end of the first year (Spring 2000) I knew that I couldn't remain a Protestant (and certainly not the kind of Christian I had been)
- Starting in the summer of 2000, I spent about a year studying Orthodox, Catholicism, etc. For a while my approach was way off, but thanks to some thoughtful (and also some hostile) Catholics and Orthodox, I got on track.
- In July of 2001, I asked Fr. Vlad (Belcher) of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Altoona PA if I could become a catechumen. He agreed to allow that, and assigned a layman to catechize me.
- On Dec. 22nd 2001, I was received by chrismation into the Orthodox Church, with Justin Popovich as my patron saint. (actually he chose me, but that's another thread
- In February of 2002 I got engaged to an Orthodox girl. We've gone through a number of months of pre-marital counselling and plan on getting married a couple weeks after Pascha 2003. (I know this stuff isn't usually talked of in a conversion story, but my relationship with Mary, and our future marriage, will indeed have a large impact regarding my "conversion" from the world and into the heavenly realm