Some Historical Comments – February 14, 2013 – Baptiterians

From Catholic Answers Forum

I grew up “Baptiterian.” When my parents met, my dad was in the upper echelons of the I AM Movement (See “I AM Activity” in Wikipedia). I even had a “personal blessing” from foundress Edna Ballard as an infant. My mom grew up in a very Calvinist Presbyterian church in South Dakota. After their marriage, my dad gradually converted to Christianity and the three of us started going to “Eisenhower’s Church” in Denver. It was there we coined the term Baptiterian because “we preach like Baptists and sing like Presbyterians” — fundamentalist Bible-based preaching and singing every verse of every hymn.

Eventually – six kids later – we relocated to SE Denver and to a RCA church there. Our whole family was deeply involved in “church society.” My dad was on the Session (governing body), served as a deacon and later as an elder, taught Sunday school, led prayer groups and with my mom sponsored the young adults and help lead the “Two-By-Twos,” a group of young marrieds that stayed friends for over 40 years; most of them have passed on. I was in all kinds of church groups for kids, eventually became one of the leaders in the Christian Endeavor organization, and was even “pre-sem” when I started at Hope College in Holland MI (operated by the Reformed Church in America at that time). This was in the mid-60’s.

I left Hope, started at a local community college in Denver, was known as a Jesus Freak, dropped out, tuned in, turned on, and saw the Light. I was a frequent visitor to Immaculate Conception Cathedral in downtown Denver and was more strongly drawn to becoming Catholic with every visit, but did not know how. Enter Viet Nam and the draft.

I was selected, shipped off to the Air Force in San Antonio, eventually ended up in a medically-related training program, and all 13 of my classmates were Catholic. Problem solved! I was inducted April 5, 1969 by an Air Force Chaplain. Two weeks later at our Wedding Mass I married a remarkable woman who helped crystallize my new church identity (my church changed by my commitment to full-time Christian service only increased), and my family thought their son/brother had “changed his faith so he could marry her.” Not so, not so. God changed my church and along with it gave me an amazing vocation: Marriage.

My home-family accepted the idea that I was still a Christian (“Are you Christian or Catholic” is a question that has bothered me since about 4th grade), that I do not worship idols (though the statuary is still suspect in their eyes), and that I am very happy with my choice (which I see not so much as a choice but rather a luxurious gift). Around 4-5 years after we got married, I received a surprising gift from my mom: A rosary. It is still the one I use most.

We were a deeply spiritual family – praying together, church and Sunday school together, even anti-Catholic together (my dad and I spent a summer visiting Catholics trying to persuade them to come to our RCA church). I am still the only Catholic among my siblings; both parents have passed as has one sibling. One has espoused the LDS Church, two are still connected to conservative evangelical denominations, and one blames God for every bad outcome of all his foolish decisions. I never made it into the clergy – even missed my chance at the Lay Deaconate – but God has given me another ministry writing a Bible study blog at

If you feel the Holy Spirit tugging at your sleeve to come toward the Catholic Church, I encourage you to accept that as a gift to be opened and cherished.

Age Quod Agis
Deus Solus
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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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