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From Catholic to Christ by Dr. Greg Boyle Dr. Greg Boyle was reared in a loving home with a strong family emphasis. He was baptized as an infant and raised in the Catho- lic church. Greg attended Catholic school through the 6 th grade. He was a very sincere Catholic and served as an altar boy. At one time he thought that he might become a Catholic priest. lic church. Two weeks later they left for Okinawa to establish their first home. In elementary school Greg developed a very severe stutter. Many times he was laughed at and made fun of on the play- ground and in the classroom. He was often discouraged because of the stutter. Greg had been transferred as an unaccompanied single soldier, so they had to apply Greg & Patty Boyle for command sponsorship when they got to the island. Greg hand carried his paperwork through the chain of command and got sponsorship right away. At every stop he was told he was excess and there was no reason for him to be on the island. He was also told that housing could take a year and they would have to extend and he was excess so he more than likely could not extend. After look- ing at off base housing, they decided to put in for an extension and apply for housing. Two weeks later they were given keys to a house in the Machinato housing area. During high school he became involved in a non-denomina- tional youth group that met at his high school. It was during that time he was encouraged to read his Bible. While reading his Bible, he had many questions and at one point he went to the priest at his parish to seek answers. He was told to read the Bible to get indulgences but not to interpret it on his own. Not understanding how it was possible to read the Bible and not interpret it, he decided to just keep on reading it, hoping to gain knowledge about God. While attending a camp sponsored by the non–denominational group, Greg realized that he needed to make a decision to trust Christ as his Savior so that is just what he did; he decided that Christ was his Savior. After graduating from high school, Greg enlisted in the US Army. Still dealing with the stutter, he was determined to be the best soldier he could be. He attended basic training at Fort Ord, Cali- fornia, and went to AIT at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapo- lis, Indiana. Graduating at the top of his class, he was given his choice of assignment, which was Fort Lewis in Tacoma, Wash- ington. Stationed only 50 miles from home, he was able to spend time with his family on his days off. During this time he met his future wife, Patty. Desiring to fly helicopters in the Army, Greg applied for Warrant Officer training in Fort Rucker, Alabama. His request was denied because a slot for the training was not avail- able at the time. It was suggested that he re-apply later. His Com- manding Officer asked him what he wanted to do because he had orders for him for Okinawa, Japan. Greg decided he would go to Okinawa and re-apply for flight school from there. On May 27, 1974, Greg boarded a plane in Seattle, headed to the island of Okinawa. His orders were for 18 months, so he said goodbye to his family and told Patty they would talk about mar- riage when he got back. Upon Greg's arrival at the Machinato Service Area (now Camp Kinzer), his NCOIC looked at him and said, “What are you doing here? This base is closing and you are already excess! We do not know what to do with you. The computer you work on is not even on the island!” Not sure what his job would be, Greg settled into the barracks and immediately became involved in the Catholic chapel teaching teen classes. After being on the island for six weeks, Greg asked Patty to marry him and come to Okinawa for the remainder of his tour. On January 10, 1975, they were married in Seattle in the Catho- Their neighbors, David and Janie Pereda, were praying that they could share the Gospel with the new family that moved into the house. It was not long before they befriended the Boyles as the new family in the area. They asked them if they were Christians and the Boyles said, “Yes!” After all, Catholics are Christians. Many conversations took place and the Peredas talked of their church, Maranatha Baptist Church. The Boyles told the Peredas they were busy at the Catholic chapel, teaching teens and hold- ing teen events. The Peredas smiled and kept praying. As Greg and Patty read their Bibles, they started to realize they needed to share their faith with everyone even non-Catholic teens. So they started inviting the teens from all the denomina- tions on base to come to the Catholic teen events. One day the priest called them into his office and told Greg they could no longer invite non-Catholic teens to the activities. Greg's response upset the priest when he told them that Protestant teens needed to be saved also. After a long conversation with the priest, the Boyles were removed as Catholic teen leaders, and parents were called and told that the Boyles were dangerous and to keep their children away from them. Feeling shocked, Greg and Patty decided they would find a church off base and go back to their parish in Seattle, Washington, when their time on Okinawa was over. They attended every church imaginable and found nothing that filled their desire to know more about the Bible. One Sunday morning the Boyles decided to give their neigh- bors' church a try. It was the last Sunday of the missions conference at Maranatha Baptist Church. Dr. Don Sisk was the speaker. They had never attended a church like that before. People were friendly and talking to everyone and Greg and Patty were used to going in and sitting quietly until the service began.