18 March 2012 • Feast of the Veneration of the Holy Cross
On the Feast of the Veneration of the Holy Cross in Three Hierarchs Chapel, two seminarians were ordained. Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America and president of the seminary, ordained Dn. David Wooten to the holy priesthood, and Seminarian Adam Horstman to the holy diaconate.
Father David is married with three children and hails from Fort Worth, Texas. Upon his graduation from high school in 1998, he enrolled at Oral Roberts University (ORU) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he majored in English Education and Spanish. There he met his wife, Audra, who also majored in English Education, and has since earned a Masters in Library Science from Texas Women's University. During their time at ORU, he and his wife both began inquiring into the history of the Christian Church and were eventually received into the Orthodox Church, Fr. David on Holy Saturday of 2001, and his wife on December 13 of the same year.
Currently enrolled in the M.Div. program, Fr. David has this past year had a parish placement internship under the mentorship of Archpriest Michael Westerberg, rector of Holy Transfiguration Church, New Haven, Connecticut. Upon graduation, the Wootens plan to return to the Diocese of the South and serve in a Spanish-language mission. "While we are excited to work with the community that awaits us as a family," says Fr. David, "we will also greatly miss the loving community here at St. Vladimir's that has been a constant support through these last three years."
Dn. Adam is currently finishing his second year in the M.Div. program, and his student "obedience" is to work in the seminary library. He holds a B.A. in Religion from Wright State University and an M.A. in Theological Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. Upon graduating from high school in 1997, he joined the Air Force National Guard as a military policeman. He also enrolled at Wright State University, where he met his wife, Trish, who has her Masters in Social Work. The Horstmans have two children.
After the events of 9/11, Dn. Adam got called to active duty military service. During his deployment, extraordinary circumstances introduced him to the Orthodox Christian faith. "In a desert chapel," he recalls, "I found an Orthodox Prayer book and began acquiring a love for Orthodoxy. While studying church history and theology at Asbury Seminary, I found myself drawn still further to the Eastern Orthodox Church.
"In spring of 2005," continued Dn. Adam, "I attended an Orthodox service for the first time and never left. My wife and I were received on the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross in 2006 at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Nicholasville, Kentucky. I am now a Chaplain candidate in the U.S. Army Reserve. After seminary, if God wills, we hope to serve in both the parish and in the military."