Sacred Heart

Heart for God is a new ministry started by a former Brethren of Christ minister from Pennsylvania.

David Hall maintains a blog and has recently posted about his journey from the Brethren of Christ to the Catholic Church. Like all convert stories, it is absorbing and fascinating. Each convert comes in from a different personal history, but also, here in USA there are a multitude of different Protestant traditions. Brethren of Christ was an extremely conservative, almost Amish sort of Plymouth Brethren group.  It’s a reminder of Chesterton’s idea that there are a thousand ways to fall, but only one way to stand. David is one of the examples of Evangelical Christians coming to the Catholic Church at great personal sacrifice and humility.
There are some Catholics out there who pick on these men and women. Weirdly, they are usually the ones that demand that all Christians bow the knee to the Supreme Pontiff without reservation. Then when some of us do, and presume to get involved in the Church we’re attacked for making the Church Protestant. It’s hard enough being persecuted by family and friends for becoming Catholic, but then when the members of your new family pick on you it sort of hurts.
Because David has family here in South Carolina I’ve met with him and his wife several times. They have joined the Catholic Church without reservation in the midst of family rejection and hardship, and with much misunderstanding from the conservative Evangelical family and friends.
They’ve done so with joy and gratitude. They’ve brought with them wisdom, intelligence, vast Bible knowledge and a willingness to minister and share with others.
They’re not the only ones. At last weekend’s Chesterton Conference I asked for a show of hands to see how many in the crowd of over 600 were converts. I’d say two thirds to three quarter of the audience were converts.
A convert myself, I know that most Catholics have welcomed us with warmth, humor, admiration and genuine love. 
Check out David’s blog. Follow his story and be encouraged. He is developing an apostolate of teaching Scripture, spiritual direction and counseling. Support it if you can. Give it a mention on your blogs. Think of him if you need a good Bible scholar or speaker. 
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  • There are some Catholics out there who pick on these men and women.I need an example to understand what it is that you are saying. As a convert some of the shortcomings of the current church can stand out in sharp relief. I for one have always found the lack of a coffee hour and the lack of sunday school for kids to be weird and slack. ‘That’s not how catholics do it’ is a common response. It’s never been a hostiled response, to me anyway.

  • There are some folks on the blogosphere who blame all the church’s woes on the influx of Evangelicals who don’t really know the faith. Like orcs they haunt various blogs and post anonymously.

  • Well, one needs a tough skin if one wants to blog. It is wise, IMHO, to moderate the com boxes though.

  • Thanks, Fr Dwight.I’m honored to be on your blog!Blessings in Jesus,David

  • Father, thank you for introducing us to David Hall. I had a wonderful phone call this afternoon from an aquaintance who told me she had just this noon, at the midday Mass, made a profession of faith and was received back into Holy Mother Church after many years of being away in the Episcopal church.Praise be to God, for her return home and for the coming home of the Halls!

  • David, is there really any relation to Plymouth Brethren? It looks like they and the Brethren in Christ are completely different streams to me. (I have a Plymouth Brethren background. My dad is a fulltime worker and elder in a fellowship he started 25-odd years ago.)

  • I understand what the Father is saying – while not so much on the blog side, but a quiet mistrust from people within the church. A little diappointing.

  • Chad,No, no real connect. The Brethren in Christ are a relatively recent Anabaptist group, coming out of Mennonite and German Brethren peoples in the late 1700s due to influence of the Second Awakening. Not willing to leave their closed Anabaptist community identity, and yet wanting to embrace more of the current evangelical pietism which had affected them, they did the usual Protestant thing and started their own group. They remained rather closed and exclusive until 1950, when after the cultural upheaval of WW2, they began to reach out to other conservative groups, one of which was the National Association of Evangelicals, which has had a progressive influence on their current identity today (neither looking nor acting closed and exclusive).dlh