The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of the following members:

Matthew F. Namee

Matthew Namee serves as editor of He specializes in the history of Orthodoxy in America from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. His publications include “Father Raphael Morgan: The First Orthodox Priest of African Descent in America” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly (2009), Wichita’s Lebanese Heritage (coauthor, 2010), and the Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches (contributing author, 2011). He has lectured at numerous conferences and hosted the American Orthodox History podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Matthew is the former research assistant to baseball author and Boston Red Sox executive Bill James. He earned his J.D. from the University of Kansas in December 2012. He and his wife Catherine have five children and attend Holy Apostles Orthodox Church in Vancouver, Washington. Matthew can be contacted at mfnamee [at] gmail [dot] com.

Very Rev. Andrew Stephen Damick

Fr. Andrew is Chief Content Officer of Ancient Faith Ministries and former pastor of St. Paul Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. He is a 2007 summa cum laude graduate of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, graduating with Distinction with honors in Church History. His M.Div. thesis is entitled The Archbishop’s Wife: Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh, the American Orthodox Catholic Church, and the Founding of the Antiochian Archdiocese (1880-1934). He focuses on Orthodox history in America in the early 20th century. He was one of the founding administrators and editors of the OrthodoxWiki website, specializing in articles on the history of Orthodoxy in America, and is an M.A. student at Signum University in Language and Literature.

He is the author and creator of multiple books, blogs and podcasts from Ancient Faith Ministries.

Dr. Aram G. Sarkisian

Aram G. Sarkisian is a historian of the post-Civil War United States, with emphases on religion, labor, and immigration. His research focuses on Orthodox Christians in North America, particularly Slavic communities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Aram completed a Ph.D. in History at Northwestern University in 2019. His dissertation, The Cross Between Hammer and Sickle: Russian Orthodox Christians in the United States, 1908-1928, won the departmental Harold Perkin Prize for the best dissertation of the 2018-19 academic year. Prior to Northwestern, Aram received a BA from the University of Michigan (2008), and an AM from the University of Chicago (2011), where his master’s thesis was awarded the inaugural Raymond D. Fogelson Prize. A native of the Detroit area, Aram currently lives in Chicago.


The Society is pleased to count as members of its Advisory Board the following distinguished scholars, who may provide advice to the Board of Directors but are not responsible for the day to day governance of the Society:

David C. Ford, Ph.D., Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)

V. Rev. Michael J. Oleksa, Ph.D., retired Dean of St. Herman Orthodox Theological Seminary (Kodiak, Alaska), Adjunct Instructor in Church History

Rev. Deacon Andrei V. Psarev, Ph.D., Instructor of Canon Law and Russian Church History at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, New York)