Atheist engineer became ‘radicalized Christian’

By Mark Ellis

Wallace "Shaun" Shaunfield

In his youth, he was already a firmly committed atheist, and his career path as a computer scientist only reinforced his views, but his wife’s flat tire one day in their Ford truck prompted a change in direction.

“I decided on my own at 18 that God didn’t exist,” says Wallace “Shaun” Shaunfield, who designed computer chips for Westinghouse, Texas Instruments, and Honeywell during his career as a computer scientist.

His wife Barbara, a devout Nazarene, broke up with him five times before they finally married.

After they moved from Dallas to Boerne, Texas, Barbara realized she had to drive an hour to get to the closest Nazarene Church. “She religiously got up and went to church on Sunday and I religiously stayed home,” Shaun recounts.

“I never darkened the door of a church except for a wedding or funeral,” he adds.

One Sunday morning on her lengthy commute to the worship service, their Ford F250 blew a tire. Barbara sat on the side of the road, crying and praying for assistance.

She finally got help with the tire, but when she returned home several hours later, she unloaded on Shaun. “I’m not going to do this anymore,” she declared.

“I’m going to start over at the Methodist Church nearby, but I’m not going alone. You have to go with me.”

Shaun was apologetic and agreed to go with her on Sundays.

After a few weeks in church, a strange thought entered his mind as he sat in the pews: Maybe I’ve been wrong all these years…maybe I should take an objective look at my unbelief.

He read Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Faith, which dealt with many of his rationalistic objections.

One hot August night he couldn’t sleep. He got up at 3 a.m., went outside on the porch and sat down in a porch swing in the moonlight. He began to take inventory of what he had learned.

“I realized Jesus really did exist,” he admitted to himself. “I realized the miracles were performed and true, because if they weren’t true, people would have said something. I realized the resurrection occurred.”

Suddenly, a dawning realization gripped his heart. I have more belief than I have doubt!

In the pale glow of a moonlit night, Shaun accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior and was born again.

Shaun was the last person in their immediate family to find faith. He has two son-in-laws who are actively involved in ministry.

Barbara and Shaun

Sadly, Barbara died from pancreatic cancer five months after his conversion. Shaun felt God’s presence during this terrible season. “He gave me signs to show me He was with me,” Shaun recalls.

After her passing, Shaun went on a “Walk to Emmaus” retreat, where he felt God’s nudge to begin writing. “I became a fanatic, radicalized Christian,” he says, “and became very interested in apologetics.

He recently published Humans: the fascinating story of how early Homo sapiens became modern humans. He believes the appearance of Homo sapiens was an act of God and that humans did not begin to realize full consciousness until 10,000 years ago.

“I used to believe science and God were in contradiction. Now I can’t find a single area where they are.”