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New Member - joem - 18-03-2009


My name is Joe McCowan and I am a non-denominational evangelical minister from North Carolina in the United States. My religious education began in various protestant circles including a seminary degree from a fundamental protestant seminary. For twelve years I have been studying theology and Church history at length, both independently and under my pastor who is a Greek and History scholar. I have been involved extensively in evangelism and theological/philosophical debates at universities and various public venues. Several years ago I became disheartened with the many conflicting voices of Protestantism and began my journey towards orthodoxy. I started reading the Ante-Nicene Fathers on a daily basis and found myself preaching a model of Church that I could not presently/locally demonstrate. Theologically, I lean towards Coptic Orthodoxy, while still residing outside of the Orthodox Church proper. Over the past two years I have been researching various Orthodox groups, not seeking apostolic succession but Orthodox communion. I have had little contact with the few Orthodox congregations in NC, which are neither located close to my home town nor are they Coptic. Ultimately, I hope to bring Orthodoxy to the Bible Belt of America, beginning with my small town. My experience with various groups in this part of the world has allowed me an extended audience. God willing, I will be able to come into full communion with a Coptic Orthodox group in the near future and be able to demonstrate locally the model of Church set forth by the Fathers.

On a personal note, I am married to my wife of 12yrs with two boys and another child on the way. My eldest son in 10yrs old, my younger son is 8yrs old and my youngest child is 3mnths in the womb. I am employed as the manager of a large production facility where we have been blessed with a strong business even in a weak economy. Most of my free time is spent with my very active family and in my studies. It is a blessing to have found this forum.

- John Charmley - 04-04-2009

Dear Joe,

Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Good to have you here.