Photo of the week: a newlywed archbishop

In the half-dozen years before his wedding on April 29, 1933, Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh had moved further and further away from mainstream Orthodoxy, setting himself up as the head of an “autocephalous” jurisdiction called the American Orthodox Catholic Church—which at its inception in 1927 had the official blessing of the Russian Metropolia in America (which…

Scandal and murder: the story of Fr. Parthenios Kolonis

The following item appeared in the Washington Post (among other papers) on July 6, 1933: Martins Ferry, Ohio, July 5 (A.P.). – The Rev. Parthenios Colonis, 72, pastor of the Martins Ferry Greek Orthodox Catholic Church, died today from hatchet-inflicted wounds. He was found unconscious in the basement of the church Saturday night, his skull…

The tragic story of Fr. Vladimir Alexandrov

Fr. Vladimir Alexandrov was a priest in the Russian Mission in the late 19th and early 20th century. He began his career in 1896, as the choir director of the multiethnic St. Spiridon Church in Seattle, Washington. After his ordination in 1898 (or ’99), he remained in Seattle as the pastor of the church. It…

The First Convert Orthodox Bishop in America

One of the curiosities of studying American Orthodox history is that a number of the “firsts” are largely unknown. Matthew Namee has done a lot of work in introducing the first black Orthodox priest in America, Fr. Raphael Morgan. With this post, we’re going to look briefly at the first convert bishop in Orthodox America,…