Holy Spirit Orthodox Church Welcomes New Priest
On Sunday, August 4th, V. Rev. Father Stephen Lourie will serve his first Liturgy at Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, 700 Shamrock Boulevard in Venice, Florida.
Raised in upstate New York on a dairy farm, the oldest of 9 children, Father Lourie’s life’s journey is a reflection of God’s hand in its path…
Because he thought he would run the family farm, he graduated with an Associates Degree in Animal Science in 1975. When he realized sowing souls not seeds was in his future, he attended Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts and graduated with a BA in Theology in 1981. During this time he met Nancy Greene, a Sarasota native who planned to become a Missionary. They were married in Sarasota, Florida on May 30, 1981.
After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Father Lourie became Assistant Pastor of Faith at Presbyterian Church in Sarasota in 1988. In 1991, the Lourie family moved to Eagle River, Alaska where Fr. Stephen’s sister also lived. While exploring their Orthodox faith, the family joined St. John’s Orthodox Cathedral which is part of the Antiochan Orthodox jurisdiction. While working as a substance abuse counselor, Father Lourie was ordained a Deacon and then a Priest and began serving at St. John’s Orthodox Cathedral in 1996.
Wanting to live closer to his aging parents who were still living on the family farm, the Lourie’s moved to Altoona, Pennsylvania where Father Stephen became Pastor at St. George Orthodox Church. He was elevated to the rank ofarch-priest (proto-presbyter) in 2007. Last November, the family moved to live closer to Nancy’s aging parents in Sarasota, Florida. Nancy is an LPN and a school nurse at Manatee County School District. They are parents of four children — Elizabeth, Nathaniel Robert and Mary (who still lives at home). Mary will be entering Sarasota Military Academy this fall as a freshman.
In addition to his pastoral experience, Father Stephen has been a counselor of individuals, families and especially abused and neglected youth. He was a counselor in a residential treatment facility for teens recovering from substance abuse and he also founded an Orthodox Summer Camp in Alaska. Father Stephen also has experience caring for the spiritual health of those conflicted with health issues as a chaplain in both hospice and hospital. Father enjoys teaching and has taught in several schools and loves teaching about the Holy Orthodox Faith.
Holy Spirit Orthodox Church has recently been served by outstanding Priests from sister Churches in the area. The congregation is looking forward to having its first full time Priest — V. Rev. Father Stephen Lourie.
Questions can be directed to V. Rev Father Stephen Lourie at 941-685-0623 or firstname.lastname@example.org