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 the 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 is one of the founding administrators and editors of the OrthodoxWiki website, specializing in articles on the history of Orthodoxy in America.

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

Aram G. Sarkisian

Aram G. Sarkisian is a doctoral student in the History Department at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.  Prior to Northwestern, Aram completed a BA at the University of Michigan (2008), and an AM at the University of Chicago (2011), where his master’s thesis was awarded the inaugural Raymond D. Fogelson Prize.

Aram’s research concerns Orthodox Christianity in North America from a historical perspective, with an emphasis on Russian immigrant communities during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  He is particularly interested in issues of immigration, ethnic identity, language, conversion, and the role of secular social and political movements in shaping religious expressions and institutions.

He has also researched, written, and lectured on topics concerning the Armenian Orthodox Church, including “And Always in Their Church: A Survey of English Translations of the Divine Liturgy in the Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Church,” published in Orientalia et Occidentalia, Vol. 8, published by the Michael Lacko Centre for East-West Spirituality (Kosice, Slovakia, 2010).


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)