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Dimitrios (Couchell) of Xanthos

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[[Image:Dimitrios (Couchell) of Xanthos.jpg|right|thumb|His Grace Dimitrios, Bishop of Xanthos]]His Grace '''Dimitrios (Couchell) of Xanthos''' is an [[auxiliary bishop]] of the [[Ecumenical Patriarchate]] serving in the United States. Prior ro to his retirement, he served in a variety of roles, most recently as General Secretary of the [[Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas]] (SCOBA). He is a veteran of many inter-Orthodox endeavors in America.
=== Early life ===
 Dimitrios was born James George Couchell in Greenville, South Carolina , on [[February 17]], 1938. He began his primary education in Spartanburg, South Carolina, then continued most of his primary and secondary education in Schenectady, New York. He completed high school in Spartanburg, and after one year at Northwestern University, he transferred to the [[Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts)|Holy Cross School of Theology]], graduating in 1963 with a BA in Theology. Following a year of postgraduate study at Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, he worked at the headquarters of the [[Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America|Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America]] for the next 17 years in a variety of capacities.
=== Youth work ===
 During his years at the archdiocese, Couchell developed the Orthodox Campus Ministry program under the auspices of SCOBA and served as executive director. Part of this ministry included the publication of the quarterly magazine "Concern" for Orthodox college students. In seven years, Couchell visited more than 1,000 college campuses throughout the United States and initiated links with the National Student Christian Federation, ; the World Student Christian Federation ; and [[Syndesmos|SYNDESMOS]], the World Fellowship of Orthodox Youth. At that time, there were more than 100 chapters of the [[Orthodox Christian Fellowship]] on American campuses, and an annual National Conference was convened for Orthodox college students.
In 1971 he was appointed as the first English Editor of the new bi-weekly newspaper of the archdiocese, the ''[[Orthodox Observer]]''. He served in that role until 1981. From 1977-1980, he served as President of SYNDESMOS.
=== 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 |Bishop 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.
=== Bishop ===
On [[May 18]], 1998, the [[Holy Synod]] of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople unanimously elected Fr. Dimitrios as an auxiliary bishop to Archbishop [[Spyridon (Papageorge) of America|Spyridon of America]] with the title Bishop of Xanthos. The new bishop was [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] to the episcopacy on [[May 31]], 1998, at the [[Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George]] in Philadelphia by Archbishop Spyridon, Metropolitan [[Paisios (Loulourgas) of Tyana|Paisios of Tyana]], Bishop [[Philotheos (Karamitsos) of Meloa|Philotheos of Meloa]], and Bishop [[Vikentios (Malamatenios) of Apameia|Vikentios of Apameia]].
On May 18, 1998, the [[Holy Synod]] of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople unanimously elected Fr. Dimitrios as an auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Spyridon of America with the title Bishop of Xanthos. The new bishop was consecrated to the episcopacy on May 31, 1998, at the [[Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. George]] in Philadelphia by Archbishop Spyridon, [[Paisios (Loulourgas) of Tyana|Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana]], [[Philotheos (Karamitsos) of Meloa|Bishop Philotheos of Meloa]], and [[Vikentios (Malamatenios) of Apameia|Bishop Vikentios of Apameia]]. Bishop Dimitrios relocated to New York and was appointed as Ecumenical Officer of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as well as General Secretary of SCOBA. In this latter role, he exercised oversight of various SCOBA initiatives such as the [[Orthodox Christian Mission Center]] (OCMC ) and [[International Orthodox Christian Charities]](IOCC). He also initiated the annual [[vespers ]] service held in New York for the staff and delegates of the United Nations, jointly sponsored by SCOBA and the [[Standing Conference of Oriental Orthodox Church Hierarchs.]] . He also served for several years as Acting Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
Among the other posts held by Bishop Dimitrios have been
* Board of Directors, Associated Church Press
Bishop Demetrios Dimitrios retired from active service at the end of 2006, although he remains a special consultant to the Archdiocesan Department of Inter-Orthodox and Ecumenical Affairs. He currently resides in St. Augustine, Florida.
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==External linklinks==
*[ Listing] at the Orthodox Research Institute
*[ Founding Director of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, His Grace Dimitrios Bishop of Xanthos, honored at OCMC Banquet]
[[Category:Holy Cross Seminary Graduates]]
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