Jeff Holton is an adult convert to Orthodoxy. He served as a high school catechist for his local parish, and especially enjoyed presenting the relevance of the faith and the astounding depth of the mysteries to his agape [pun intended] students.
Holton's background in the faith is as a conservative-progressive Presbyterian (USA). He held leadership positions in youth groups at both the primary and secondary education levels. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Lafayette College (Easton, PA) in May, 1994, Holton returned to his home church (West Valley Presbyterian, Cupertino, CA) to serve as Director of Youth Ministries.
Around this time he was accepted by his Presbytery as a Candidate for Preparation for Ministry, and he began his graduate work, studying theology under Drs. Robert K. Johnston and Libby Vincent, biblical languages under Dr. John Koeker, history with Dr. Nate Feldmeth, and literature with Dr. Anthony Petrotta. Holton's first academic considerations of Orthodoxy surfaced while working on a paper (The Emergence of the Cult of Saints and Martyrs) for Dr. Feldmeth. Although he could justifiably burn this paper today for heresy in its conclusions, he rather keeps it as a souvenir of the beginnings of formulating his own thoughts on the subject substantially enough to begin to question and unravel them.
After a year or two of attending Orthodox Liturgy, and sensing that passive spectatorship was of little value, Holton joined the choir as a "floater" bass/tenor, surprising a grateful Kathy Trapp (memory eternal) who wasn't used to people volunteering for such things!
Consistent exposure to the subtle but ultimately unavoidable presence of Christ in the mysteries led to the eventual outpouring of hunger for the Eucharist in early 2002. Holton was made a catechumen in February and was received through Chrismation on Holy Saturday, 2002. He took the name Theophilus (a reasonable translation of "Jeffrey" into Greek). His patron, Blessed Feofil of the Kiev Lavra, is considered dear both for his common heritage in the northern Ukraine as well as a name day coincident with Holton's birthday.
He is driven by a strong, deep desire to see Christians of various identifications maintain positive dialogue with one another towards the eventual inclusion of all into the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.
Holton lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and enjoys playing with his guitar and with his children, but not necessarily in that order. "Children are harder to tune," he says, "but the melodies are a little more interesting, unpredictable, and jazzy." He attends a Greek Orthodox parish in the Metropolis of San Francisco, with his children.