Mother Samira was born and raised in Iran as a Muslim. She and her family fled Iran due to persecution and obtained political asylum status in the U.S. Mother Samira converted to Christianity.
She earned her Master of Divinity and doctorate in Missional Church Studies from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She has committed her life to bring the hope and love of Christ to those whose hope, dignity, and humanity have been taken away by oppressive governments and circumstances.
She is the author of Who Is My Neighbor and co-author and co-editor of No Longer Strangers: Transforming Evangelism with Immigrant Communities. She frequently speaks nationally and locally at conferences, churches and other venues on issues of interfaith relations, Islam and Christianity. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Gateway of Grace Ministries and a church planter.
Mother Samira and her husband, Dennis, have four adult children and enjoy gardening and exploring restaurants in the area.
Fr. John was born and raised in suburban Philadelphia. Active throughout high school as both an athlete and musician, he graduated from West Chester University (1955) where he majored in brass and voice. In 1959 Fr. Kline graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg with a Master of Divinity degree, later earning the S.T.M. degree from the same institution. He served pastorates in Bittinger, MD, and Lancaster, PA prior to entering the Episcopal Church. Fr. Kline has ordained Deacon a priest in August 1965.
In 1997, Fr. John and his wife moved to Plano TX and in 1999 he was appointed Associate Priest at the Church of the Holy Nativity.
Fr. John is married to the former Jane E. Beeghley of State College, PA, and they have three children and two grandchildren, all in the greater Dallas area. They both enjoy gardening and travel and cheering for Penn State. Fr. Kline is an avid golfer and is also active in genealogy.