FROM BAPTIST TO BYZANTIUM: HOW A BAPTIST MISSIONARY TRAVELED HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD TO FIND THE ANCIENT ORTHODOX FAITH BY JAMES EARLY
What would be the most powerful testimony to the spiritual truth of Orthodoxy? How about a story of a Protestant American missionary sent to convert the Orthodox to his evangelical faith who instead converts to Orthodoxy! This unique, entertaining and uplifting story has been endorsed by so many leading Orthodox bishops, priests and writers.
What if a former missionary penned a story about his journey to Orthodoxy in a writing style reminiscent of a good Southern Baptist? Suppose there was someone who could speak/write/teach like a Baptist though using newly discovered precepts of the ancient faith. That would be a rarity. Many adult converts to Orthodox Christianity leave behind not only their former beliefs, but also their former vocabulary. Then, especially if they write about it, they seem to acquire another tongue to tell the tale; or worse, their writing is laced with anger and resentment at their former denomination. Not here. Fr James Early writes like a Baptist who loves the Lord and as a seeker who traveled the world to, much to his surprise, find the Church.
God guides people to the Church in varied and often unexpected ways, and it is always a blessing to hear converts to Orthodoxy share their testimony — but Fr. James Early’s account of how he went to Bosnia as a Baptist on a mission to convert the Serbs, and came back a convert to Orthodoxy, is one that is especially fascinating and edifying to read.