About Gail Baker

As the oldest daughter born to Pat and Lee Baker of Columbia, S.C., I grew up in a sheltered cocoon of loving family relationships and a close knit Jewish community. I attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where I met my husband, Steve, of Greek Orthodox descent. After we moved to Columbia, I obtained a masters degree in Special Education and Steve completed his law degree. We married in 1973 and had our son, Michael, two years later.

Our lives unraveled when Michael, at nine, began having severe emotional problems. After thirty-five years of depression, drug addiction, and an eating disorder, he finally revealed that a traumatic event in his childhood precipitated his many years of turmoil.

In my quest to resolve suffering on a deeper level, I realized that the Christian worldview held the only promise of making sense out of our grim reality. My shocking, radical turn–the single most practical decision of my life–helped me to transform the language of loss into the language of grace. In seeing the sacred meaning of sorrow, with its struggle and redemption, I discerned that no world weariness, desolation of spirit, or grievous remorse is ever wasted in God’s economy. Delving into ultimate issues enabled me to let go of pessimism and enjoy the quiet exuberance of a life tempered with gratitude.​​

​Disengaging from the collective conversation of which I was a part forced me let go of expectation, ego, and the conventional wisdom of a lifetime. Living on the boundaries of two cultures, I gained insights and understandings I could not have obtained otherwise. Because I don’t  relate to the conservative mindset of such groups as the Christian Coalition or Messianic Judaism, I have come to view myself as ”a congregation of one.” In my search for a moderate path in theology, I discovered that devout faith can cohere with a nuanced interpretation of the Bible.