Author of “A Wicked & Adulterous Generation“, available on Amazon.
This ministry isn’t about my name, it’s about God’s truth. But I thought in the “About” section I would clarify it none-the-less.
You won’t find my name on Facebook. Alethea is the name I was born with. My parents were under the misunderstanding that it meant “Picturesque”, but perhaps unironically (as you’ll see soon enough), it was a middle school project that revealed it’s real meaning. A teacher I had, Mrs. Fahrner, asked us to choose a name that our parents might have given us if we had been Puritan. In scouring the internet on a dialup, I found that the name “Alethea” was actually derived from the Greek “aletheia”, which means “Truth”.
Leland is not be my last name. It is my mother’s maiden name though. My mother’s family is descended from Henry and Margaret Leland who came to America in 1652 as Puritans and joined the First Church of Dorchester. Since then, the Lelands have gone through a number of spiritual transformations. My own line has largely become Catholic. Another line produced the Elder John Leland, who would later be called the “Mammoth Priest” because he celebrated Thomas Jefferson’s famous letter on “Separation of Church and State” with a huge cheese delivered to the White House. But lesser known, today, is a Folklorist that was huge in the Neo-Pagan movement, Charles Godfrey Leland who wrote “Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches” and became the president of the English Gypsie Lore Society.
Although I am not a descendent of either of these two Lelands, both being very distant cousins, I have to admit that their stories had tremendous impact on my spiritual journey. In a way, I used Charles Godfrey to justify my exploration of the pagan community early on in my confusion over what to do theologically. But later, when I finally decided to place my faith in God, it was Elder John’s writings which encouraged me to take the chance and speak the truths Yahweh has shown me.
Although the Bible tells us that women should follow their husbands into faith, the truth is that my own husband is not Christian, but instead agnostic. Nor was my biological father, but was instead deeply engaged in witchcraft (something I learned over a decade after his death in 1995). It was my mother’s family which influenced my spiritual exploration the most, and as a result I made a decision to honor my mother’s “tribe” (so-to-speak) as I step out in faith with this ministry. One that can counter Charles Godfrey, a continued tradition of Lelands seeking God, and a commemoration of the religious freedom Henry and Margaret Leland came to America to find.
By taking my mother’s name, I seek to honor her. By speaking out against witchcraft, both inside and outside of the church, I seek to honor the memory of my biological father- whom might have known salvation in life if only he understood what God has led me to understand today.
But above all, this ministry seeks to honor and glorify the Father that has been so patient with me, and waited for me to step out in faith: YHWH.