Guglielmo (Bill) Venturi, Deacon Candidate
My given name is Guglielmo, but I go by Bill, since Guglielmo is William in Italian. This nickname was very helpful to me in grade school and even to this day. I was born in Milan, Italy, and raised in that region for the first nine years of my life. My dad was an IBMer, so we moved many times within Italy as well as to the United States and Germany. We were not quite like army brats but close to it. I have called the United States home since I have lived here for most of my life. After graduating from high school in Raleigh, I went to NC State for my Bachelor degree. In 1995, I moved down to LSU Shreveport for graduate school, where I met my future wife, Christina. We have now been married for 20 years. We moved back to this area after graduate school in the early 2000’s and have lived in Raleigh and Cary ever since. I have worked at Duke University since 2000, first in the Department of Immunology and more recently in the Department of Pediatrics. My current research focuses on the immunological effects of substance use on adolescents infected with HIV.
My walk with God has changed over the course of my life. I was raised Roman Catholic. My parents always made a point to attend Mass regularly and spend family time on Sundays, for which I am very grateful. I cannot recall a specific point in my life that I became a believer. As far as I can remember, I always believed in Jesus and His teachings. However, during that time, I always felt the need to live up to certain standards to gain God’s favor. So, I never experienced the freedom of knowing that my sins were forgiven once and for all by the blood of Jesus. Thankfully, that realization came later in my life as Christina and I started attending and subsequently joining a Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, Pilgrim OPC, back in 2004. We decided to join a Presbyterian Church because the Bible was the sole source of teaching authority. Leading up to this decision, my mom led me to start reading the Bible on my own. She was reading the Bible on her own and joined a weekly Bible study group at a Methodist Church. As a result, she questioned why the Catholic Church adhered to certain aspects of their dogma, such as papal infallibility, intercession of the saints and confessing sins to priests. That line of questioning caused me to start looking at the Bible alone for answers and for a church that taught from a biblical viewpoint. Joining Pilgrim OPC was a blessing and turning point in our lives. We began to read and study the true teachings of the Bible. As a Catholic I was taught that salvation by works went hand in hand with salvation by faith. In contrast, the Bible taught us that salvation is through faith by grace alone. I felt the Holy Spirit softening my heart and opening my eyes to the Word. That was a very important period in my life as I finally felt the assurance that I was called to follow Jesus Christ.
We moved to Cary in 2014 and decided to join Peace soon afterwards since we wanted to worship closer to home. It has been such a blessing for our family to worship here, hearing the Word faithfully preached every Sunday and the opportunity to make close friendships. My walk with God has been wonderful as I look back on my life. During the good and bad times, I’ve always felt the presence and strength of Him nearby. I have been humbled by the strength that He has given me through many trials in life, whether it be career, sickness or loss. I realized that I could have taken completely different paths had it not been for His grace. I’m very thankful and amazed for what He has done in our lives, most notably, giving us three wonderful children, Nathaniel (13), Gabrielle (10) and Benjamin (8). I have been amazed at how He answers our prayers in His own time. After the passing of my dad last year, I have been praying for how God wants me to serve Him going forward in my life, and the opportunity to serve as a Deacon arose. I’m following His lead and I’m looking forward to what He has in store for me. I pray that I may serve Him with the gifts He has entrusted to me to the best of my abilities, and I look forward to listening, encouraging and serving others in this Church and community to the glory of God.
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