By Ray Balogh
WARSAW — Grace College student Obadiah Clemans earned his bachelor’s degree this year and is now working on his master’s.
But the 22-year-old figures he’s still got a lifetime of learning to do.
“Learning is so valuable,” he said, noting he was attracted to an Instagram advertisement for a barista because “I wanted to learn how to make coffee.” He now enjoys his learning experience at Three Crowns Coffee and Craft Soda on North Detroit Street in Warsaw.
The Nappanee native moved to Warsaw to attend Grace. His undergraduate degree was in biblical studies and he will soon complete his master’s degree in divinity with an emphasis on Greek and Hebrew.
He is studying the languages “not just for reading the Bible but also the writings of the patristic fathers,” he said. “They are the bishops that followed the apostles.”
Clemans graduated from NorthWood High School in Nappanee in 2016 and two years ago married his high school sweetheart, Sarah, who was a year behind him in school. He describes their love story as “definitely God” and a “strange story.”
At the beginning “we didn’t really talk much,” he said, “but we started hanging around the same group of friends. It was bizarre, a soul-deep attraction. We just knew we were going to be together, but it was a relationship we had to cultivate.
“We moved from just meeting together to being friends who were not really interested in a romantic relationship.” He said the surety of the relationship was “a combination, a realization it was just supposed to happen and now we should work for it and help it grow.”
They started dating in 2015 during Clemans’ junior year and will celebrate their second anniversary June 16.
Clemans has bowled since the age of 5 and participated in his varsity team in school, carrying season averages of 180 to 190. He recalled his highest single game score of 257 like it was yesterday.
“I started with five strikes, and left the 10-pin in the sixth frame. I missed it and again left a 10-pin the next frame, I picked it up and finished out with strikes.”
Now in his spare time he enjoys cooking and baking. “I like to bake bread a lot. I try to make everything from scratch. I also love reading and good video games here and there. I play a lot of different ones, so it’s hard to pick a favorite.”
Clemans lives by a simple but profound philosophy, “loving God, my family and my neighbors.” He has an equally meaningful solution to the present unrest, “the worst I’ve ever seen in the U.S.”
He said, “we need to have love for one another, be willing to admit there are problems and have a willingness to reform things and the way we see and treat one another.
“A lot of the unrest is powered by ignorance because people don’t know each other,” he said, advising, “we need to learn each others’ names, what they like and dislike and what they care about. We are individualistic and not collective. We tend not to value those sorts of things.”
A devout Christian who is converting to the Eastern Orthodox religion, Clemans said, “Faith is incredibly important for the unity of mankind. Christ united all of humanity in him in the resurrection.
“Humans are the image of God. Christ was the perfect human and to be fully human as intended is to be like Christ.”
He advised anyone looking for guidance in life to “read ancient literature from the time of the first century church and apply it to your own sanctification. The process of humans becoming like God is our vocation.”