Good things come to those who wait
USA, Japan, Germany: these are the stages in Shawn Beasley’s life. His path of faith is even a little longer. Join us on a journey of faith and discovery.
Shawn Beasley is standing in front of the offices of the New Apostolic Church Western Germany in a black suit and with his hands folded. He smiles into the camera through his beard. The father of three has just driven three-and-a-half hours to Dortmund (Germany) to interpret a divine service into English.
Priest Beasley’s mother tongue is English. However, the first time he interpreted a divine service he did have his difficulties: “I simply didn’t know some specific religious terms in English. In the New Apostolic world, my mother tongue is German.”
Halfway around the world
Shawn Beasley lives in Idar-Oberstein, a small town in Germany known for its jewellery and gemstone production. He was born in Augusta, the second largest city in the US state of Georgia. Life took him half way around the world before he found his new home in Germany in 1999.
On finishing school, Shawn joined the US Navy. One of his postings took him to the waters off the coast of Japan. When his stint in the Navy ended in 1996, he returned to Florida in the USA. In 1999 he enlisted with the military, this time with the US Army, which sent him to Germany, to Idar-Oberstein. This is where he met his wife, Jutta, who has been New Apostolic since childhood. And she invited him to come to church with her.
Search from an early age
Already as a child Shawn had shown interest in the Christian faith. At the age of seven he was baptised at his own request in the Baptist Church of Revival. When he was thirteen he lived with his father for a year and attended the services of the Methodist Church with his father’s wife on Sundays.
But he did not stay there. He continued to search and, as an adult, occupied himself with various Christian denominations. He studied the spiritual practices of the indigenous peoples of North America and began training as a shaman. Finally, he even studied Buddhism and Taoism.
Signs along the way
What impressed Shawn about the New Apostolic faith first of all was the way his then girlfriend lived her faith. “Jutta often visited me in the barracks, also on weekends. On Sundays though she always went to church first and then came to see me on the base.” He also got to know the brothers and sisters in the congregation better and better when he attended the services and became very fond of them. And then there were two experiences.
Shawn left the army just two weeks before 9/11. “As a result, they couldn’t send me to go and fight in the Iraq war,” Shawn Beasley says. Not long after and surprisingly quickly he found a job in the IT sector in Germany, a country that he still knew little about.
Home at last
“Until then, my life had not been easy,” he says. “I had no formal training, had been in the military twice, and had my second marriage behind me. The odds had not been in my favour.”
“So why was I so lucky now? Why were things falling into place?” Shawn asked himself. When he heard that the members of the congregation were praying for him, he came to the conclusion that God had called him and wanted to guide him to Him. This prompted him to have himself sealed in 2003 and become a member of the New Apostolic Church.
Already a year later, Apostle Gert Opdenplatz ordained him as a Deacon. “My rector would have loved to have me ordained as a Deacon the day I was adopted into the Church, but they wanted to give me a little more time,” Priest Beasley says, smiling the smile of someone who has finally come home after a long journey.