Many people want to know more about my background and what brought me to Orthodoxy. I am a convert. When I was in the sixth grade, I was Roman Catholic and I lived on the same block as Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church and this was my exposure to the Byzantine Rite and I am extremely grateful to the parish for this.

Let's get the record straight. I am not an African American. I am an American and proud to be one. I have very little interest in Africa. Although I am black and Orthodox, I am not Ethiopian. Please don't insult my Ethiopian brothers and sisters by calling me one of them.

Please allow me to vent for a moment. Back in the mid 1990s a neighbor told me, "I'm tired of blacks thinking that we are accepted in the white man's society. Take you, for instance. You are not accepted in your church!" This neighbor was still "on the Plantation" and I'm tired of people like him trying to pull me back onto the Plantation. I have been accepted in a predominantly environment for over 60 years. The color of my skin has rarely held me back.

Also, as stated above, I am not Ethiopian. I am an American who converted to Orthodoxy because of the Truth and the beauty of the Faith. I was Orthodox for years before I knew about the Ethiopian Church and I have no interest in being a part of her. My Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters are my people.

I'm finished venting for now.

I graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School in 1963 and earned a BA in Sociology from Merrimack College, N Andover MA in 1971. I served in the US Air Force, Texas Army National Guard, DC Army National Guard, DC Air National Guard, Air Force Reserves, and Civil Air Patrol.

Thanks to the help of St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington DC and others, I also hold a Master of Divinity Degree from St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.

In addition, I have served on the parish council of St. Andrew Orthodox Church, and the Bishop's Council for the Moscow Patriarchal Churches in the United States.

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