Dear Family & Friends,
By now, the initial shock of my departure from the Baptist pulpit and Protestant Christianity has worn off. Many of you are still satisfied that I am still a devout Christian and haven’t forgotten that I am still “John-John.” If anything, my faith has been deepened since I first inquired into Orthodox Christianity and my appreciation and knowledge of early African Christianity is a major source of my spiritual growth. Except for a couple of speaking engagements in Ashland, Charlottesville, and my internet activities, I haven’t publicly spoken or shared much of my faith. I felt it wisest to spend time in the faith learning how to better struggle against my sins, get a better understanding of parish life and be firmly rooted before devoting more efforts into evangelism. I can say for certain that I do not know everything about Orthodoxy. But, I feel that I have experienced and learned enough about the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church to invite you all to “Come and see” for yourselves.
I will be exhibiting information about the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black and the Orthodox Church at the Williamsburg Greek Festival this coming weekend of May 20th, 21st. The event will be held at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church on Mooretown Road. I will be there that Friday from noon to 7 pm and that Saturday from 1 to 7 pm with free information and items for sale. I will be attending my home parish, St Basil Orthodox Church in Hampton for our Sunday Services as I am a lay chanter/reader for our morning prayers (Matins). We are holding services at the Alfred Forest Elementary School on Todds Lane as we are still working on our building on that same road. I will also participate in the Juneteenth celebration in Charlottesville on Saturday, June 18th with a similar display. While in that area, I will be attending St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Greenwood. The Virginia Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Moses will have its second symposium on Friday, August 26 at St. Basil where Fr. Jerome Sanderson, an African-American priest in the Bulgarian Archdiocese, will be our guest speaker. I have been invited to speak at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach on Sunday, September 18th. I will give more information about the upcoming events soon.
Besides these events, you all know me. Brenda and I are still in the same little house in West Point. Other than the library, I don’t go anywhere except work. My doors are open just about any evening and my phone number hasn’t changed. You are more than welcome to talk to me and see the faith that I have found to be true and fulfilling. My purpose in this invitation is not to argue anyone into becoming Orthodox. Indeed, Brenda has not converted nor do I try to force her to do so. I only ask that you come and see for yourself.
Yours in Christ,
John R. Gresham Jr., President
Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black