“Life is a journey, not a destination.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Hi, there! I’m Allen. Whether I personally handed you a Nexus Prayer card while out and about in the city, you arrived here from Google, or were referred by a church or a friend, thank you for taking the time to visit this website and for your interest in Nexus Prayer. To help us get better acquainted, please allow me to tell you a little about myself…
Through the years there have been several noteworthy individuals: Francis A. Schaeffer, John Michael Talbot, and Thomas Keating to name just a few, who have each had a unique and profound influence on my spiritual formation as a Christian. But I’d be remiss to not also acknowledge the contributions of many other friends, religious, pastors, priests, and Christian artists of all stripes who have also greatly impacted my life, including: Francesco Bernardone, Murray Bodo, Richard Foster, Thomas Merton, John Main, Henri Nouwen, Adeline O’Donoghue, Rob Price, Richard Rohr, Randall Trego, Dallas Willard, and more.
It was Dr. Schaeffer, of L’Abri, Switzerland fame, who single-handedly helped me Escape from Reason and who persuaded me to abandon my faithless agnosticism for faith in Christ. Soon after becoming a Christian, I discovered the music and ministry of Franciscan friar, John Michael Talbot. Not only did John Michael inspire me to use my own voice and classical guitar as instruments of praise, but he taught me by his own example the importance for humility as a Christian musician. Finally, Fr. Thomas Keating was not only a world-wide spiritual pioneer in his teachings on Centering Prayer, but also the mentor and muse primarily responsible for teaching me Christian meditation and setting me on the contemplative path.
As a native Houstonian, I received my classical music education at the University of Houston and formal theological training at Tennessee Temple (now Piedmont International University). But along the way and between here and there, I’ve been blessed to have visited, ministered, and lived in some of the most interesting countries and beautiful cities in the world. Consequently, I have a special place in my heart for the quaint alpine villages, cosmopolitan cities, and soaring majestic Alps of Switzerland.
Having been born, reared, and educated as a Roman Catholic; an avowed agnostic during my youth and college years; a student of philosophy and the world’s major religions as a young adult; having dabbled with Buddhism, and explored Hinduism in a Hare Krishna Temple; studied and taught Christian meditation; and been ordained as both a Southern Baptist Deacon and Minister of the Gospel, today I am proud to be an active Episcopalian, yet humbled to be a leader of Nexus Prayer and candidate in formation as a Franciscan friar. As mentioned earlier, life’s a journey, not a destination.
My diverse professional career and ministry have spanned more than forty years in both the private and non-profit sectors. As such, over the years I have served numerous congregations as an associate pastor, worship leader, and teacher. In the “real world”, my secular career has included work as a human resources executive, businessman, and even an antiquities dealer. In other words, I’ve worn many different hats over the years. Today, I don’t even have hair!
And although now technically retired, it doesn’t mean I’m not busy. Indeed, I’ve never been busier! That’s because God has chosen to place both my wife and me in separate, yet complimentary ministries as advocates for the most vulnerable members of society.
While my wife, Leslie Ann, serves full-time at Redeemed Ministries, most days you will find me hard at work sharing Nexus Prayer, being an advocate for “the least of these”, serving within my local parish, or researching and writing for my various book and writing projects at the Lanier Theological Library.
And my spiritual journey continues even today. What an exciting time it is to be alive in the 21st century as a follower of the Way, a contemplative Christian, and soon, a Franciscan friar. Surely the best is still yet to come! But happily, I am not on this pilgrimage alone. As mentioned above, and in addition to Jesus and Saint Francis, I am blessed to have a diverse and special group of individuals accompany me on my life’s journey, but none more so than my wife, Leslie Ann White, whose unconditional love, companionship, and example these many years have not only made me a better person, but a better Christian.
Pace e Bene (Peace and all good)! – Allen
NOTES & REFERENCES
1 Photo Credit: Original Line Drawing of Allen White © Copyright 2017 by Allen Aaron White. | Used with permission. | Nexus Prayer International.
2 Photo Credit: Original Matterhorn photograph by Sam Ferrara via Unsplash | Used with Permission | Nexus Prayer International.
4 Photo Credit: Saint Francis of Assisi |The oldest surviving depiction of Saint Francis is a fresco near the entrance of the Benedictine abbey of Subiaco, painted between March 1228 and March 1229. | In Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons and License Art Libre.