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.
Eric began his study of the Catholic faith in 1991 as an Methodist/Evangelical Protestant, converting to the Catholic Church in 1993. Eric is married and has six children.
From Ignorance to Bliss
My Journey to the Catholic Church
Manicured lawns, kids playing in the streets, and dads barbequing in the summer: I grew up in the quintessential suburban American neighborhood. Each family was similar to the next, having the same values and outlook and each relatively the same size. One family on my street, however, broke the mold. Instead of the standard two or three children, this family had seven. I remember asking my mother why that family was so large, and her simple answer was, "Oh, they're Catholic." Knowing little of Catholicism and even less of how children were conceived, I figured that these "Catholics" must have a better relationship with the stork than the rest of us.
Though I'd learn soon enough how babies came to be, my ignorance of Catholicism persisted, mingled with some minor, usually stereotypical, details. I knew that Catholics took a different view of alcohol than the folks at my church, and I heard rumors that they had even added a few books to their bibles, but in general I was woefully ignorant of this church - it may have had over a billion members, but I personally knew very few of them.