Diocesan & Parish Leadership
St. Athanasius is a parish of the Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America. Our ruling bishop, the Most Reverend Archbishop Alexander [Golitzin] of Dallas and the South, has served as our parish’s archpastor since Great Lent of 2016. (His Eminence is assisted in his archpastoral ministry by the Right-Reverend Bishop Gerasim, Auxiliary Bishop of Ft. Worth.) It is ultimately under Archbishop Alexander’s direction and blessing that the clergy of St. Athanasius serve and it is to him that they are accountable.
“See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is administered either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude of the people also be; even as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” —St. Ignatius of Antioch, c. AD 115, Smyrnaeans, Ch 8
His Eminence, Archbishop Alexander, sits on the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America, under the chairmanship of the Most Blessed Metropolitan Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington & Metropolitan of All America and Canada. Metropolitan Tikhon has served as primate of the Orthodox Church in America since fall of 2012. Metropolitan Tikhon has the task not only of serving as the ruling bishop of the capital of the USA, but also of coordinating the work of the dioceses in accordance with the canons of the Church and representing the OCA both at home and abroad. It is the special task of the primate (metropolitan) to maintain Communion of our local church with the other Orthodox churches around the world.
The Parish Council (2021-2022 shown in photo) is elected every September at the Annual Parish Meeting of all parish members. The rector and pastor, Archpriest Justin Patterson, heads the parish council ex officio as president. Our deacon, Fr. Simeon Siskar, also serves on the council ex officio. The parish warden, elected among council members, serves as vice president of the council. The secretary and treasurer, both drawn from the council, are key players in managing the affairs of the parish. Along with our bishop and diocesan administration, the parish council plays a large role in coordinating the life of the parish. Traditionally, our council has operated on the model of consensus.
Fr. Justin Patterson has been the rector (presiding priest) of Saint Athanasius since 2006.