New Preacher’s Conversion Story is Good News
by: Stafford North | September 6, 2018
Every conversion shows the power of God at work through His grace. The case of Holden Dunn in Sedona, Arizona, however, is a most unusual story. He believed that God was “unknowable” and so was attracted to New Age views like seeking meaning through self-discovery and the use of crystals. Eventually, however, he found that this plan did not provide any suitable answers, only leaving him more empty and disappointed. Near the end of the summer of 2016, he made a decision to study the Bible to see if he could find the answer for meaning there. He inquired from a friend about someone with whom he might study the Bible and the friend suggested that he check with the preacher at the Sedona Church of Christ, a congregation of about forty members. So he contacted Carson Patterson, the preacher there. The Bible studies soon were sessions lasting from two to four hours each and two or three times a week.
For these studies, Carson started in Genesis, especially the first eleven chapters, and primarily asked questions, allowing Holden to find the answers for himself. And, of course, during this time the teacher and pupil were developing a close personal relationship. They then studied the life of Christ through John and Luke and then moved to Acts. Carson didn’t discuss the views of different churches but just led Holden to find for himself what the Bible said about different topics. Sometimes, Carson would not even answer a question but, rather, would just be quiet for a time until Holden would dig out the answer for himself.
These intensive studies eventually led Holden to decide that he should be baptized and that event took place in the third week of November of 2016. He now was confident he had found the answer to his quest for meaning in his life – to know and serve the living God and share the message of the gospel. And the two continued their Bible studies. Along with these, Holden took some online courses from Sunset International Bible Institute.
Once Holden knew the truth, he wanted to share it with the world and, with Patterson’s help, he began to give talks in church, eventually moving to full length sermons. One Sunday in early January of 2018, Holden was preaching his second full sermon, and among the visitors that day was Dr. Jim Carr, Executive Vice-President of Harding University, there with his family. Very impressed with Holden, Carr invited him to come to Harding to apply for a scholarship in their Ministry program. So Holden went for an interview and was offered a full-tuition scholarship. He began his studies there at the start of summer in 2018.
There are many things to learn from this “good news” story. Even those who may seem far away, can be brought to Christ though it may take much careful study for them to learn. Often in studying with people, especially those who do not know much about the Bible, allowing them to find answers for themselves can be a very useful approach. Studying in this way usually means people have less resistance since they come to conclusions on their own.
Congratulations to both Carson and Holden for the important roles they played in this outstanding story of one being brought to Christ and then wanting to preach. For more information on the church in Sedona, go to their website at www.sedonachurchofchrist.com.