Category: Early Converts


This week in American Orthodox history (March 19-25)


March 25, 1886: The future Greek Archbishop and later Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras Spyrou was born. Athenagoras led the Greek Archdiocese from 1930 to 1948, when he was elected Patriarch of Constantinople. He served in that position for nearly a quarter-century, until his death in 1972. March 25, 1891: St. Alexis...

St. Patrick’s Day with Fr. Patrick Mythen


We here at SOCHA would like to wish you and yours, Irish or not, a happy St. Patrick's Day!  And who better to portray those wishes than a figure we have written quite extensively about, Fr. Patrick Mythen.  A proud descendent of the Irish political figure Henry Grattan, Mythen spent a good...

ROCOR to offer an annual memorial service for Philip Ludwell III


Today being a Monday, I normally would publish the next edition of my "This week in American Orthodox history" series (in which I would say, among other things, that today marks the 97th anniversary of St. Raphael Hawaweeny's repose). But that will have to wait until tomorrow, because I need...

Nicholas Chapman’s new lecture on Philip Ludwell now available


Nicholas Chapman recently gave an hour-long talk on Philip Ludwell III, the first Orthodox convert in American history. The lecture is now available for purchase, and you've got two options: an MP3 download for $4.95, and a boxed CD for $9.95. The boxed CD includes a newly-discovered portrait of Ludwell...

This week in American Orthodox history (January 16-22)


January 16, 1924: Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow -- former Archbishop of North America, and future canonized saint -- issued an ukaz removing Metropolitan Platon Rozhdestvensky from his post as primate in America for "public acts of counter-revolution." Of course, Tikhon was under pressure from the Soviet government. Really, "pressure" is...

The mystery of Irvine’s funeral


I've written more words about Fr. Ingram Nathaniel Irvine than about any other historical figure. Irvine was an Episcopal priest who converted to Orthodoxy in 1905, was ordained by St. Tikhon, and played a major role in American Orthodoxy until his death in January 1921. He was a trusted assistant...

A Virginian Apostle: The First Orthodox Catechism in the Americas?


Editor's note: We're extremely pleased to present another article by Nicholas Chapman, who continues to excavate the very earliest origins of Orthodoxy in America. To read more about Nicholas and his exciting research, check out the upcoming edition of the journal Road to Emmaus, which features a lengthy interview with...

Newly-discovered documents on Fr. Raphael Morgan


We've devoted a fair amount of attention here at OrthodoxHistory.org to Fr. Raphael Morgan, the first black Orthodox priest in America. Very briefly: Morgan was born in Jamaica, traveled widely, and eventually became an Episcopalian deacon in the United States. In 1907, after many years of study, he traveled to...

Atlas Excerpt #3: The First Two Convert Priests


Recently, Holy Cross Orthodox Press published the Atlas of American Orthodox Christian Churches, edited by Alexei D. Krindatch. I contributed several pieces to the Atlas, including the article “Ten Interesting Facts About the History of Orthodox Christianity in the USA.” With Alexei’s permission, we’ll publish excerpts from that article over...

Yet Another Priest is Taken to Court


In the middle of the twentieth century, Fr. Boris Burden (+1973) played important roles in American Orthodoxy.  It was he and Fr. Michael Gelsinger who rallied behind the attempt in the late 20s and early 30s to unite Orthodoxy and they were the key players, together with George E. Phillies...