Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Journey of a Hobbit Priest

Father Denzil Roland, my former priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church, once told me he thought he might be a contented man just to live in the hills and raise chickens. He being "the most unlikely of men to serve as a priest", as he puts it. I have always lovingly referred to him as a "sawed-off hobbit of a priest". His short stature and robust build, his burley beard and personable demeanor, his cultural speech interlaced with an occational "I seen it" and "I done it", causes some, at first glance, to miss the powerhouse of a man he is. His power comes not from his keen mind, uncanny literary retention, masterful ability as a wordsmith, relentless pursuit of truth and holiness, but from his unwavering heart of servanthood. Christ said the servant is the greatest of all. That being true, I deem it an honor to have served at the altar with one such as he.

Father Denny, as he is most often called, celebrated his 10th year in the Charismatic Episcopal Church July 1, 2006. On that day, at his own request, he was released from his Holy Orders as a priest in the CEC to pursue Holy Orders with the Antiochian Orthodox Church. Little did I know or even dream possible that when we, two years ago, asked him to release us from his pastorate in the CEC Church so that we might become Orthodox, he too would soon step over into the One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church which is the Orthodox Church.

I am humbled and amazed at the work of God in the life of Father Denny. I am especially expectant for the Bishop of the Orthodox Diocese in which we serve, to know Father Denzil Roland as I have known him. The Church has been blessed this year by his entrance into the undivided faith of our fathers. I long for the day when I attend Father Denny's Chrismation service and am able to utter the words, "Welcome home Father. You have reached the destination and now the real Journey To Orthodoxy begins."

(Pictured above is Father Denny with my Daughter April and her Husband Greg on their wedding day. Father Denny administered the sacrament of Holy Matrimony.)


  1. Anonymous10:23 AM

    I too have known Fr. Denny from a vastly different standpoint and I too am very happy for him as he continues his journey with the Lord. May he and his growing family be abundantly blessed. Nell

  2. Anonymous9:06 AM

    Although it is puzzling that that Father Denny would leave the CEC, I am thrilled that he is continuing as a priest for this is obviously his calling. He is a unique man of humility. He is just as happy eating at McDonald's as he is the finest restaurant and finds humor in the simple things such as dressing as a Hobbit for the Lord of the Rings premier. I don't think I will fully understand the spiritual impact he has had on my life until years down the road. I only pray that I can become as stable and as blessed a man as he, hobbit warts and all.


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