Pastor A.J. Severns of Mitchell, Nebraska passed away in Portland, Oregon on March 9, 2018, following a lengthy illness. Burial with full military honors was in the Echo Cemetery, Echo, Oregon on the Faro Family lot. A celebration of life service is being held April 15, 2018 Sunday at 1PM by The Abbey Church in the First Christian Church, Scottsbluff. A memorial is established to The Abbey Church.
Anthony James “AJ” was born November 20, 1963 in San Francisco, California to James J. and Blanche Cecilia (Faro) Severns. AJ attended school in Pendleton. He was an active member of the Boys Scouts. After graduation, AJ joined the United States Army and served in the medical corps. After his honorable discharge he worked in Tacoma and Enumclaw as an x-ray technician, and in medical coding and medical transcription.
While continuing to work in the medical field, AJ answered God’s call to serve in 1983 and entered the Congregation of the Most High Creator, an Independent Orthodox Franciscan Missionary Order, and Independent Catholic Jurisdiction, and completed his BA in Ministry at the St John and the Theotokos Seminary. Masters of Divinity and Doctorates in Franciscan Spiritualty and Heresies from the Patriarchs to the Middle Ages followed in the next 2 decades. AJ was ordained transitional Deacon in November 1985 and ordained Priest and Friar May 6th 1986. From Ordination until 2006, AJ was in mission with small house churches with the LGBTQ community, and for anyone and their families dealing with terminal illnesses no matter what sexual orientation.
In 2007 AJ founded His Loving Word Community Church in Tacoma, Washington and served as their Pastor until his health required a dryer climate and he moved to Nebraska in the fall of 2010 with his life partner Joey Loebig. He opened the Abbey Church that year and has served as their pastor since. In 2016 The Abbey church became a member of the Orthodox-Catholic Church of America and Friar AJ was consecrated as an OCCA Bishop.
AJ married Joey Loebig on March 17th, St Patrick day, 2016, a fitting date for an Irishman! They made their home in Mitchell, NE with their two “boys” Ty and Zacky their rescue dogs
AJ is survived by his loving husband, Joey, parents, and brothers Thomas, Gerald and William, and longtime friend Charles Stackhouse and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.
AJ will be missed by all who were touched by his generosity, his kind pastoral care and deep devotion to God. AJ was a spiritual man whose belief in God anchored his life and gave support to those around him.