Growing up a cradle Catholic in Argentina, Ercy Joy Ghiringhelli had a powerful experience with Jesus in the Eucharist. However, over the course of life, she became attracted by revival in Protestant churches. She eventually became an ordained Nazarene pastor and worked with the sick and suffering, until flipping channels one day, she came across an episode of The Journey Home.
My story begins in a naval hospital in Pittsburgh, California, where I was born to an 18-year-old girl and her 19-year-old husband. My parents were believers and we attended the Nazarene church close to our house.. I do remember that my mother used to turn on the TV to do her daily workouts with Jack LaLanne, and just before he came on, there was a show with a man wearing a cap, a large cross on a chain, and he wore a cape that he threw around as he talked. His eyes burned into the camera! Later I would learn that his name was Archbishop Fulton Sheen.
My father was the pastor of a few different churches throughout Ohio and West Virginia during this time. He began as a Pentecostal minister, and would later go on to pastor a Baptist church. My father never attended a seminary, although he received his preaching credentials under the teaching of another Evangelist via postal-mail. I remember as a young girl, my father worked hard at his biblical studies. He continued to work full-time as a carpenter to provide a decent living for his family, but on many evenings, he would slave over a stack of books for long hours.
I grew up in Trinidad, in the West Indies, of British parentage. My parents were delightful people, loved by me and by everyone else who knew them. They were baptized Christians and lived as Christians should: helping others when necessary and sharing with those who needed it; but like many non-Catholics in those days, attending church regularly was not considered necessary. My two sisters and myself were baptized Anglicans, confirmed when we reached the proper age and as younger children were sent to Sunday school. Our parents attended church services on Easter Sunday, Christmas morning, and perhaps twice otherwise during the year. As we grew older, we stopped attending Sunday school, and only went to church when our parents did. We were believers but religion did not play an important role in our lives.
My Conversion Story by Anita G. Gorman, Ph.D. My parents were born in Sweden and immigrated to the United States as young adults. Nominal Lutherans, baptized and confirmed in the Church of Sweden, they were not strong churchgoers. Our next-door neighbors, on the other hand, were fervent Baptists who attended a Swedish Baptist […]