=== Florida ministries ===
In 1981, Couchell was appointed by the Archbishop of America, [[Iakovos (Coucouzis) of America|Iakovos]], as the executive director of the new [[St. Photios National Shrine (St. Augustine, Florida)|St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine]] in St. Augustine, Florida. On [[March 20]], 1983, James Couchell was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] by Bishop [[John (Kallos) of
Amorion |John of Atlanta]]. It was at this time that he took the name ''Dimitrios''. Deacon Dimitrios was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Iakovos on [[Pentecost]] Sunday, [[June 26]], 1983, in St. Augustine. The date was significant: it marked the 215th anniversary of the landing in St. Augustine of the first Greek colony on the North American continent. On the occasion of the [[consecration of a church|consecration]] of the shrine's Chapel of St. Photios, Archbishop Iakovos elevated Fr. Dimitrios to the rank of [[archimandrite]].
In January of 1985, Fr. Dimitrios was appointed to serve concurrently as the executive director of the newly founded [[Orthodox Christian Mission Center|Archdiocesan Mission Center]], which initially was based at the St. Photios Shrine. Fr. Dimitrios oversaw the construction of a new facility for the mission center and initiated key programs, including the sending forth of the first Orthodox mission teams to Africa.