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Posted By Eric Sammons On August 31, 2009 @ 7:53 am In Eastern Christianity,The Church | Comments Disabled
It is always amazing when a single person converts. The grace of God acting in the life of an individual to change his entire way of life is something beautiful to behold.
But when an entire congregation of a church decides to convert en masse, it is really incredible. A few years ago I read the story of Alex Jones , a pentecostal pastor who along with many in his congregation converted to the Catholic Church. A week ago, here in Maryland, a Charismatic Episcopal priest and entire congregation converted to Western Rite Orthodoxy .
Last weekend, at a service at St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Poquoson, Va., Bishop Thomas Joseph ordained James K. Hamrick into the holy priesthood of the Western Rite Orthodox Church.
It was a moment Hamrick’s congregation in Lewistown has been waiting for since early spring. On April 10, his small flock at the former Charismatic Episcopal Lamb of God Church converted en masse to the Antiochian Orthodox faith, which includes both Western Rite and Eastern Orthodox churches.
At Hamrick’s urging, the 40-member congregation, which worships in a church built in 1883 by Methodists, was officially accepted as an Orthodox mission in March. After preparation, members went through the sacramental rite of chrismation into the Antiochian Orthodox faith. Further highlighting their transformation, the congregation adopted a new name: St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church.
This weekend, Hamrick will lead an Orthodox Sunday Mass for the first time at the church, marking the final step for the 45-year-old priest and his congregation as Maryland’s first Western Rite Orthodox church.
If you are not familiar with Western Rite Orthodoxy, you can read about it here .
May God bless Fr. Hamrick and all members of the St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church! I pray that your embrace of apostolic Christianity will lead you into a deeper relationship with our Lord.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/08/31/congregational-conversion/
URLs in this post:
 Alex Jones: http://www.amazon.com/No-Price-too-High-Pentecostal/dp/0898709199/
 a Charismatic Episcopal priest and entire congregation converted to Western Rite Orthodoxy: http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/art_life/display.htm?storyID=94504
 here: http://www.antiochian.org/western-rite
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