The phrase “Swimming the Tiber” has been used to describe Protestants coming into the Catholic Church. But a group of Pentecostals in Arizona are coming “home to Rome” through Constantinople, leaving their Assembly of God church for the Byzantine Catholic Church.
Joshua Mangels, a pastor at a Tucson Assembly of God church, felt in his heart a growing desire to join the Catholic Church, which culminated with his resignation of his position at the church in September and entering the catechumenate a month later at a local Byzantine Catholic parish. Along with him and his family came several in his flock, all taking the plunge together into the Church.
Mangels’ first experience with Catholicism was as a teenager in South Seattle. He was in a crisis of faith at the time, he said, “running with the neighborhood kids,” and while playing basketball, an elderly Catholic woman named Karen asked him to help her with a Bible study she was running at the community center.