Back to the Source

by Cliff and Sara Hargrave I am 51 years old and my wife is 48. We have been married 29 years and have two grown daughters and two grandsons. On Christmas Eve 2017, my wife and I were Chrismated into the Orthodox Church. My journey began as a “cradle” Southern Baptist. I grew up in the local First Baptist Church, attending Sunday school, vacation bible school, and Royal Ambassadors. I walked the aisle at age 7. Then in my junior high years, something happened. The church got rid of the pastor my parents liked. From that moment on, they never went back. My siblings were older than me and had the busy lives of teenagers and for a while I was … [Read more...]

Finding the Communion that Never Ends

by Jon Boatwright My journey to the Orthodox Church began in a way that has been hard for me to put into words. People often ask me why I converted to the Eastern Church from a Protestant tradition. That's usually when I start rambling. But I've also discovered that many others have similar difficulties. It's simply difficult to describe the inner life. Then I'll try to keep to the stepping stones. As a young man attending a little Baptist church in Arkansas I recall loving Sunday School but somewhere there began emerging a questioning or even uneasiness regarding Baptist teachings or rather their answers to my questions and I had lots of … [Read more...]

Why More African Americans Are Drawn to the Orthodox Church

The African-American community is being drawn to Orthodox Christianity, inspired by its roots in Africa, claims to authenticity, and reverence to black saints. Karl Berry is one of a few black Americans to be ordained an Orthodox priest. He grew up in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He said he's "always had a love for Jesus," but he wasn't sold on the Christianity he was being exposed to. In 1983 Berry walked into an Orthodox Church for the first time and was surprised by what he saw: icons of black saints. "My first thought was that these were just some very liberal white people who were doing some outreach and trying to appeal … [Read more...]

Plumbing the Depths of the Holy Spirit

by Tudor Petcu Another in our series by Romanian writer, Tudor Petcu. Tudor is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Romania. He has published a number of articles related to philosophy and theology in different cultural and academic journals. His work focuses on the evolution of Orthodox spirituality in Western societies as well and he is going to publish a book of interviews with Westerners converted to Orthodoxy. In this article, he interviews Andy Franqueira. 1) First of all, I would be tempted to ask you about your spiritual experiences that you had over the years. Which of them were the most important in … [Read more...]