The Orthodox Church of America is a worldwide Christian denomination. Its members are independent bishops in Texas, California, Great Britain, and the Philippines. Its ministries include hospices, prisons, military organizations, and veterans organizations. Its English-language translations are used as pastoral needs dictate. Its mission statement states that “we are a people of God, a family of believers, and an extension of the Body of Christ.”
Patriarch Wolodymir I
In the early twentieth century, the American World Patriarchates – sometimes referred to as the American Patriarchates – were an international autocephalous movement of Orthodox churches in the United States. In 1965, a group of American Orthodox priests, including Byelorussian priest Uladyslau Ryzy-Ryski, ordained Patriarch Wolodymir I and incorporated the Orthodox Church of America (OCA). During this time, they welcomed people who were seeking an authentic Orthodox Catholic Church.
During this time, the AOCC and the Ukrainian Patriarchate maintained communion with each other. In 1965, Patriarch Wolodymir I consecrated Father Ryzy-Ryski to the Sacred Episcopate as Bishop of Laconia. During the 1970s, the AOCC and the OCNA formed a council to discuss upcoming church events.
Patriarch Walter M. Propheta
Patriarch Walter M. Propheta, the presiding bishop of the Orthodox Church of America, was born in 1923 and died on November 11, 2001. He was born a Christian and raised in Tennessee. The Orthodox Church is one of the world’s largest, and has been a leading force in American culture for more than a century. In his sermons, he stresses that Orthodoxy is the Body of Christ and is based on Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The papacy of the Orthodox Church of America was founded by Christian I, the second Patriarch of the Americas. He reposed in Christ on December 25, 1984. The Patriarchate of the Americas is composed of two dioceses: the Eastern Orthodox Church of the United States and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Russia. There are also many smaller churches in the U.S. and in Canada.
Patriarch George Matsoukas
Among the many issues facing the Orthodox Church today is how to achieve unity. While a great majority of Orthodox Christians share a common faith, a great many are divided by ethnic traditions, and the role of the laity is unclear. The June meeting in Switzerland is the culmination of decades of preparation for the Great Council of Orthodox bishops, which is expected to solve the hodgepodge of churches in North America.
George Matsoukas, the president of the Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL) from 1992 to 2007, is involved in the sacramental life of St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in West Palm Beach. He also serves as the executive director of the Orthodox Christian Laity (OCL), a non-profit organization comprised of clergy and laity in the United States. He is an active member of AHEPA, serving as the past president of Chapter 18, and the secretary of the mission’s council. He is also active in the community in his hometown of West Palm Beach.
Archbishop Steven A. Kochones
Archbishop Steven A. Kochones, of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, is the fifth bishop of the Church. He was born and raised in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America. However, as a young man, he left his church and became a minister in the Independent Assemblies of God, a Protestant denomination of pentecostal faith. In 1992, he returned to his Orthodox faith and was ordained as an archbishop of the Church of the Holy Cross.
The Orthodox Church of America has a number of schismatic denominations. The Albanian Orthodox Diocese was established in 1950. It is part of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Americas. As of 2001, the diocese reported 2 parishes, 1,300 members, and two priests. The Orthodox Church of America (OCA) has an apostolic succession and is Orthodox in faith.
Patriarch George Winslow Plummer
Founder of the Society of Rosicrucians in America, Patriarch George Winslow Plummer was a prominent figure in the American Orthodox community. He founded the Mercury Publishing Company, which published a quarterly publication called “The Mercury”. Moreover, he was a member of several Rosicrucian groups and became interested in esoteric Christian mysticism. After his consecration, Plummer founded the Seminary for Biblical Research and published Christian Mysticism.
He also held various positions within the Rosicrucian Order. In 1936, he consecrated Theodotus Stanislaus de Witow as bishop and on January 30, 1944, he appointed Roy C. Toombs as bishop. The name “Theodotus” refers to the saint who had been ordained as a bishop by the Holy Orthodox Church of America.