Fr. John was born and raised as Kent Edward on a farm/ranch in rural Idaho until the age of 8. His family moved to the small town of Mackay in central Idaho to run a motel/garage business. It was there that he began his spiritual formation in the Community Methodist Church that eventually became an independent evangelical church under the Village Missions Organization. Fr. John became very involved in the life of that church, attending and leading Bible studies, assisting the youth group and singing solos in church services.
A 1979 graduate of UCLA, Fr. John earned a B.A. in History with a major in Balkan Medieval History and a minor in Art History. In 1980, he received a teaching credential in Social Studies.
His UCLA years opened his mind to Church history, in particular, the Orthodox Church, the writings of the earliest Church Fathers, as well as liturgy and sacrament–via a short stint in the Episcopal Church. In 1980, he returned to Mackay for two years, becoming more involved in his home church as a worship leader and an adult choir leader. He was employed at the local grocery store, eventually becoming the manager. God’s call to apply his education and training as a teacher led Fr. John to seek employment in that area. After searching for several months, he was granted, in a very miraculous manner, a teaching position in Page, Arizona.
It was in this beautiful desert of Northern Arizona that God continued to shape his call for ministry. During the ten years Fr. John taught Social Studies to high school students, he remained very active in his new church community of the Conservative Baptist Church of Page. Yet, he still felt something was missing. This became most apparent when he was charged by the pastor to organize the evening worship service. The Holy Spirit used his study of worship, the past experience with Scripture and his studies at UCLA to convince him that the best form of worship Biblically, historically, theologically and experientially was found in the oldest, original Church–the Holy Orthodox Church.
In 1987, news of the future conversion of several thousand Evangelical Orthodox into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese prompted him to contact and visit the main church of the EOC in Santa Barbara. Here, at his first experience of the Divine Liturgy in English, he was instantaneously converted to the Orthodox understanding of worship. This prompted him to ask the “Bishop” (now Fr.) Peter Gillquist, “What can I do to promote this Church?” Gillquist directed Fr. John to the nearest Orthodox Church to where he lived. It was 5 hours south, in Phoenix, Arizona!
In 1988, Fr. John was chrismated into the Holy Orthodox Church at his new home parish of St. George in Phoenix. One year later, he helped start and serve an Orthodox Mission Church in Flagstaff, only two and one half hours away from his home in Page. He was made a Subdeacon by Bishop ANTOUN and was given the responsibility to lead lay services every weekend when it was not possible for a priest to come and serve the mission. This led him to understand that he could have a greater spiritual impact on the community if he were properly trained and ordained as an Orthodox priest. So, he tendered his resignation, said good-bye to his students, sold his home in Page and set out for Boston to attend Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology as an Archdiocese seminarian.
It was here that God answered a major prayer request for Fr. John. Should he marry or remain celibate? Then, he met Christina Marie Shaheen. Christina was born in Toledo, Ohio, into an Orthodox Christian family of priests (great-grandfather, grandfather, and father) and even an archbishop (paternal uncle)! She began assisting her father, the late V. Rev. George Shaheen, by chanting at an early age, as she began singing in the choir at the age of 3 and teaching Sunday school by the time she was 12. She gave her first homily when she was 14, and at 19 began leading the first of many Orthodox retreats. During her college years she taught Sunday school and served as a camp counselor at Antiochian Village.
Her degrees have been in the areas of education (B.A., Hellenic College, 1984) theology (M.A., St. Vladimir’s Seminary, 1986) and psychology (M.Ed. C.A.D.C., Univ. of Massachusetts, 1990). Christina taught in the Boston public schools for 4 years. After she became a certified Alcohol and Drug Addictions counselor, she ran the Family Education unit at Fuller Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, MA. She also did inpatient and outpatient counseling in addictions. In April 1996, Christina set up, ran and licensed the first sober house for the mentally ill in Massachusetts.
After he graduated as Valedictorian with his Masters of Divinity degree, John Kent and Christina were married. He was ordained a deacon in 1996 by Bishop ANTOUN and, a few months later, a priest by Metropolitan PHILIP. It was announced at the ordination that they would be assigned as assistant priest and Khouria (Priest’s Wife) to St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles. They served that parish for 12½ years, interrupted by a very intense 4 months’ service to St. Luke Orthodox Church in Garden Grove in 1997 during a very critical period in that community’s life.
At the Cathedral, Fr. John shared equal responsibilities for the pastoral duties as Assistant Pastor. Additionally, he was responsible for teaching the catechism, baptismal and premarital classes for the community, assisted oftentimes by Khouria Christina. She served St Nicholas parish as the Head English Chanter, choir member, chaplain for the Ladies Society and educational consultant for Sunday school and St. Nicholas Camp. She and Fr. John have completed 14 years of service for Summer Camp. At Bishop JOSEPH’s request, the Reimanns have spent the last 7 summers working full-time at Camp St. Nicholas (under the reorganized Southern California Deanery Camping Program). Fr. John also served as Past President and Secretary for the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches in the LA area, as well as the only Chairman of the Orthodox Christian Coalition in America. This coalition involved representatives from all of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions in the Southland.
Their ministry has also encompassed leading several retreats over the years in Southern and Northern California, Washington, and Canada–Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary.
During their 12 years in L.A., Fr. John and Christina were blessed to have two very bright, beautiful, and talented daughters. Their oldest enjoys chanting Byzantine music, singing in the choir, writing, and reading. Their youngest enjoys cooking, baking, art, making anything creative, reading, singing Vespers, math, science, and history.
In 2007, Fr. John and Khouria Christina said yes to Bishop JOSEPH’s invitation to serve the pastorate of St. Anthony Orthodox Church. So, in early 2008 they left their beloved Cathedral community and their friends and neighbors and moved south. They now call San Diego home.
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