Renée Lin joined the Catholic Church in 2003 after a lifetime in Evangelical Protestant. Renée currently works in research at a medical practice in central Virginia.
“The Bible says it…. I believe it…. that settles it!”
If Thomas Road Baptist Church had an unofficial mantra back in the 1990s, that probably would have been it. Dr. Jerry Falwell was fond of saying that, and I enjoyed hearing it. I took the Bible seriously, very seriously, and if Scripture made a pronouncement on an issue, it seemed only reasonable to me to take those verses as literally as possible and to act upon them. If a Christian couldn’t base his life on the Word of God, then what else was there?
One Sunday morning when Dr. Falwell proclaimed that “everything we believe and do here at Thomas Road comes straight from Scripture,” I took that seriously, too. Everything we believe and do…. Everything?
Brett grew up and was baptized in a traditional First Southern Baptist Church in the Heartland. But a chance invitation from his grandmother to Christmas Mass 1998 sparked a 13-year struggle and journey that resulted in his acceptance, along with wife of 15 years, Jessica, into full communion with the Church on the Feast of Christ the King, 2011. Brett is active in the parish of St. Monica in Edmond, Oklahoma, and serves in various conservative Catholic organizations and institutions.
Approaching the Water
I was born and raised in a more or less Southern Baptist home. As a young boy my first recollections of church were at First Southern Baptist of Guthrie, OK, where I ultimately accepted Christ and was baptized at the age of nine. From there we moved to Clinton, OK, where we were very active at FSB-Clinton and I was among the 'Youth Leadership Council'. It was there that I had my first taste of legalism as I thought my debt to God for his mercy was to lead a holy life...and to impose holiness on those around me.
My family later moved back to Edmond, OK, in my eighth-grade year, but we did not immediately re-engage in a church. It was not until my college years that my parents rejoined the Community Baptist Church after it had split off from the FSB Guthrie due to internal conflicts. But that was well after I had met Jessica (my bride-to-be), and I was already in deep introspection about faith along with my involvement in Campus Crusade for Christ. Shortly thereafter in the winter of 1998, I learned my paternal grandmother had converted to Catholicism. I was livid.
Todd is a former Southern Baptist who converted to the Catholic Church in 1999, four years after graduating from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He now lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife Wendy and their two young children, and works in the field of social services. He and his family are parishioners at St. Bernadette Catholic Church.
A Southern Baptist Liberty University alumni becomes Catholic
Every spiritual life is a journey. Mine began in Warner Robins, Georgia in 1971. I was born into a good Methodist family and had a strong Christian foundation laid for me in childhood. But unfortunately, as is all too common, during my teenage years I drifted away somewhat from this good foundation and was lukewarm at best towards Christianity. I still attended weekly church services and youth group activities, but my interests were mainly in having fun with my friends and having a spiritual life was far from my mind.
Steve is a Catholic speaker, author, pilgrimage guide, and frequent guest on EWTN. The proud father of four, Steve lives with his wife Janet in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I can still smell the green vinyl of the used couch in our living room as I knelt with my mom, with my face buried in my hands and my nose pressed into the vinyl. She had decided I was old enough — after all I was four years old. She didn't want to wait any longer. She was eager.
When I was born I was taken to the front of Joy Road Baptist Church in Detroit Michigan held aloft and dedicated to Christ. I did not receive infant baptism. The thought of baptizing an infant was repugnant. Where do you find that in the Bible? That was a surely a man-made Catholic tradition.
My parents had "found Christ" less than a year earlier. After twelve years of painful miscarriages my parents had discovered Jesus through the preaching of Billy Graham. The radio was on one morning as my mother was getting ready to go shopping. With keys in one hand and purse in the other she stopped in the kitchen before heading out the door. She heard something she's never heard before.
Katie is home schooling mother of three, avid reader, catholic blogger and lover of education.
Since becoming Catholic, I have been asked numerous times, WHY??? Why are you doing this? Many Catholics have asked with excitement in their voices, and my non-Catholic family and friends have asked with dismay.
Interestingly, no one asks void of emotion. I was talking with a friend who recently converted, and I was telling him about my mother's belief that the Catholic Church is Satan's greatest triumph in all of history. He replied, "It has to be either Satan's greatest triumph, or Christ's greatest triumph. There is no neutral ground when it comes to the Catholic Church." Truth. The same applies to people I talk to about my conversion; there is no neutral ground. They are either excited or dismayed.
So what led to this decision? Often, when I try to tell this story, it is too overwhelming. How do you describe eight years of reading, discussing, listening, and journeying? My worldview gradually shifted, and it is difficult to put into words what happened in my mind and my heart. There are a few landmark times in my journey that I will try to highlight.
Kathy Frein is a convert to Catholicism from the Baptist faith. 25 years after entering the Church, peers challenging her daughter's convictions caused Kathy to look deeper into her own faith and rediscover Christ and His Church.
Why Am I a Catholic?
When I began to contemplate this task, I considered what its title would be. I thought about making it declarative and writing "Why I Am a Catholic." Then I became more introspective and began to consider the question "Why Am I Catholic?" It has been a personal examination of my faith that finally led me to an understanding of beliefs of the Catholic Church. What joy there is in discovering the Truth!
I've been a Christian since I was ten years old when I expressed a belief in Jesus Christ, was baptized, and joined the little Baptist Church in Monroe, Arkansas during a "fire and brimstone" revival in the late 1960's. I've been a Catholic Christian for the last 26 years. I joined the Roman Catholic Church the year after I married my cradle Catholic husband. I joined the church for a good reason even though it may not have been the right reason. I wanted our family to worship together and my husband and his family had been long time members of our local parish so I felt I should follow his spiritual leadership.
Nikki converted to the Catholic Church from the Baptist tradition in the Summer of 2011. In addition to being a stay at home mom she is also working on obtaining her Master's degree in theology. Nikki lives in the suburbs of Washington DC with her husband Jason and four children. You can read Jason's conversion story (from the Evangelical tradition) here.
Like most converts to Catholicism, I would have never guessed in a million years that I would be where I am today, having just been received into the Catholic Church on the Feast of the Assumption. And like many converts, it's hard to know where to begin, since there are so many things that pointed Jason and I toward the Church.
To go back to the beginning, I was a Cradle Roll Baptist. We went to services every Sunday morning and evening, and I attended Sunday school faithfully. On Wednesday nights I was a Pioneer Girl, filling up my little blue sash with every badge I could get. Later when our church began the Awana program I flew through each level, memorizing as many verses as I could. In high school I was an Awana Cubby leader and enjoyed helping the little 3 and 4 year olds learn their verses. I was there whenever our youth group did service projects and missions trips. I was about as involved as a kid could be and I loved the fact that our youth group had a number of "on fire" and really committed kids who inspired my faith.
Julie is wife, mother and Catholic convert raised in the Methodist church. During her walk of faith she encountered many different Protestant denominations before finally calling the Catholic Church home.
Looking back in my Christian walk of over 30 years, I can now see my steps into the Catholic Church as a reflection of the poem "Footprints in the Sand". My feet have traveled into many Christian denominations the past 30 years, such as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian USA, PCA, Assembly of God, Non-denomination and Bible Church. My footprints and Jesus' prints were side by side for several of those years. Then somewhere during those years (for many years) I looked down and I could only see one set of prints, thinking they were mine and I was alone in this journey. My love for Jesus was so real in my life, but why could I not feel at peace in the church? I felt alone in this walk and began to think just maybe something was wrong with me. Now, I see that they were Jesus' footprints carrying me into the Catholic Faith. Fifteen years ago my faith was challenged in the church I attended in which I was a member. I was hurt deeply and this was when my journey into the Catholic faith began, not having a clue this is where my journey would end. Fifteen years ago "Catholic" was not in my vocabulary. My search for a new church began after I was hurt and my feet trotted to many denominations with no peace to be found. A place of worship "one on one", worship with my Lord, was my heart's desire. An anointed sermon and music (praise & worship) was my agenda, and yes I found this in many churches I attended. I also loved to study the Word of God. A good study was encouraging as well. Good sermons, good music and good teaching meant a good church. I traveled into several "Jesus and Me" churches.
Lori and her husband are raising two God-fearin' bible totin' boys in the great state of Texas. She is a musician, catholic blogger, catholic website contributor, small business owner, youth and faith formation volunteer in her parish community and generally Wonder Woman in nature. Fourteen years ago, the Eucharist found this Southern Baptist girl in the pew of an old New Orleans Catholic Church and captured her heart.
I haven’t always been Catholic. I haven’t always walked on the road less traveled. I don’t always live according to His will. But I am trying. And I am so thankful to be on this journey. With each new day, I hope to step a little closer to His heart, and surrender a little more of mine to Him.
Devin Rose is a software engineer and former Atheist. This is his story from Atheist to Baptist to Catholic.
I believe and profess all that the Holy Catholic Church teaches and proclaims to be revealed by God.
But it was not always so. I grew up secularly. My mother was brought up in a particularly legalistic branch of the churches of Christ denomination, and my father, in the Episcopal Church. But the only church I remember going to as a child was a Unitarian Universalist one, and we went there for just a short time. The sole Unitarian sermon I recall having to sit through included a joke about (then Vice President) Dan Quayle that got big laughs from the congregation. I was taught at home and at school that humans evolved without purpose from primordial ooze, so unsurprisingly, when I became old enough to reason about such things, I proudly declared that I did not believe in God.