Donnie McDaniel, his wife Shannon and their three children have been attending All Saints for the past few months. Donnie attended Church of the Apostles in Raleigh for the past few years and it was there that he went through the ordination process. We are excited to now have him and his family as part of our church and look forward to celebrating his ordination to the diaconate on Sunday night. Introduce yourselves to Donnie and his family this Sunday if you get a chance. I asked Donnie to reflect on his sense of calling to ministry and share some of his thoughts in light of his upcoming ordination.
Thoughts on Ordination
My sense of calling is unique as it goes back to when I became a Christian at age seventeen. This was the summer before my senior year in high school, and as a life-long student of a Fundamentalist school, my Christian faith took that shape. I instantly felt called to the ministry, since theological training had been a part of my life since kindergarten. However, like many young Christians, I ran from my calling and went to college where I pursued a degree in criminal justice, but I still minored in theological studies.
After college, I began normal lay service in a local church, and it was in service to the youth that my calling to ministry was rekindled. I started seminary at RTS Charlotte and then began studies at Southeastern Baptist Seminary. While pursuing the M.Div, I was licensed and ordained as a Southern Baptist minister. My journey into Anglicanism began while I was working on a M.Th. the University of Edinburgh. I studied under an Anglican priest, and my reading in environmental theology introduced me to the sacramental worldview, which in turn drew my attention to the centrality of the Eucharist. I essentially woke up one morning and realized that all the theologians that were shaping me all shared a common tradition—Anglicanism.
My full transition, however, was a long process as I still needed time for my heart to catch up with my mind. This is kind of unusual as most people come into Anglicanism via experiencing the richness of liturgical worship, while I came over via theological conviction. My family and I came into the Anglican Mission after a long period of reflection and began attending Church of the Apostles in Raleigh. It was there that I entered the ordination process.
The Anglican ordination process was rich and beneficial. At first, it seemed that it going to be a very long period of testing, but looking back, I am glad that the process is rigorous. Coming from a free-church background, ordination is not highly valued or protected. All of the complex safeguards and practices that makeup the Anglican Mission’s ordination process are there to protect both the candidate and the church. The candidate is protected as the length and vigor of the process provides the time and space for God to bring growth. The church is protected as well as the process does an excellent job of identifying problems early.
My advice to anyone in the process is to persevere! It does come to an end, but don,’t rush the process either. God is truly at work and this is a part of your formation. Give yourself full to it.
Ordination Celebration at All Saints: This Sunday, September 18th at 5:00 p.m., ASC’s own Brad Acton, Virginia McCray and Donnie McDaniel, along with Brett Hedgepeth, Keith Huffman and David Cumbie will be ordained as deacons in the Anglican Mission in America. Join together for worship, celebration and fellowship. Please bring finger foods and fruit to share at the reception. If you can help with set up or clean up, please come early/stay late.