John (Martin) of Nyssa

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His Grace the Right Reverend John (Martin) of Nyssa was the second ruling bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (ACROD) under the jurisdiction of the Church of Constantinople. His episcopacy was cut short by his early death.


John R. Martin, the future Bishop John, was born on January 5, 1931 to John and Veronica Mihach Martin in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the schools in Munhall, Pennsylvania before attending St. Fidelis Seminary and College in Herman, Pennsylvania. He continued his education at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. Following assignments to a number of parishes, he continued graduate studies in philosophy at Stanford University in California. On May 29, 1955, John was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh.

After being received into the Orthodox Church in 1966. Fr. John was elected to the episcopacy on August 15, 1966, and appointed auxiliary bishop to Metr. Orestes, with the title of titular bishop of Nyssa, by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. His consecration was on October 6, 1966, at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The consecrating bishops were led by Abp. Iakovas, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, along with Metr. Orestes and Bishop Theodosios.

Upon the death of Metr. Orestes on February 17, 1977, Bp. John was named the ruling bishop by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Notable among his activities was the establishment of Camp Nazareth in Mercer, Pennsylvania and of a program for training deacons.

During his episcopacy, Bp. John updated the administrative structure of the Diocese. In 1977, he developed and dedicated a camp and conference center on a 289 acre parcel of donated land in Mercer, Pennsylvania that he named Camp Nazareth. In 1978, he arranged the purchase of a large estate in Tuxedo Park, New York that was dedicated in 1979 as a diocesan monastery with the name of Monastery of the Annunciation.

After serving as diocesan hierarch for 18 years, Bp. John collapsed and died unexpectedly on September 30, 1984 after speaking at a celebration honoring the cathedral-parish dean Protopresbyter John Yurcism and his wife. Bp. John’s funeral was held on October 4, 1984, at Christ the Saviour Cathedral.

Succession box:
John (Martin) of Nyssa
Preceded by:
Germanos (Polyzoides)
Titular Bishop of Nyssa
Succeeded by:
Eleutherios (Katsaitis)
Preceded by:
Orestes (Chornock)
Ruling Bishop of ACROD
Succeeded by:
Nicholas (Smisko)
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