Father Stephen was a New England protestant in his formative years and wandered away from Christianity in his high school years.
After committing his life to Christ in 1976, he began a journey that culminated in bringing his family into the Orthodox Church in 1991 at Eagle River, Alaska.
In 1996 he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan Joseph of The Antiochian Archdiocese of North America. He served there as an assistant priest until 2004 when he was transferred to St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
In 2013 he became the pastor of Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Venice, Florida (Orthodox Church in America).
Deacon Jim has been part of the parish of Holy Spirit Orthodox Church since 2017. He completed the three-year St. Stephen’s course at the Antiochian Village from 2012-2014. He was ordained in September 2016 by His Grace Bishop Anthony, also Fathers Fred Shaheen, Elias Koury, Germogen Tucker, and Deacon Edmund Abodeely.
Deacon Jim enjoys serving the church and reading the history of our Orthodox faith and the lives of the Saints. He loves to visit with parishioners and to help our youth move forward in their spiritual life.
Deacon Jim’s favorite passage from the Bible is when Jesus is on the cross, and the thief asks for forgiveness. Jesus tells the thief, “today you will be with me in my kingdom.” Deacon Jim hopes everyone will remember that no matter when, Jesus is always waiting for you.
Deacon Jim and his beloved wife Gwen live in Venice for 6 months of the year. When he is not serving the parish, he enjoys playing golf, exercising, collecting coins, and spending time with his two children and four granddaughters.