Fr. Makarii--nee Mikhail--was born 30 October 1792 in Viaz'ma (Smolensk Province), to Iakov and Agafiia Glukharev. He also had a younger brother, Aleksei.
His father being a priest, Mikhail studied at theological schools in Smolensk, then enrolled in the St. Petersburg academy, where he studied from 1813 to 1817.
The following year Makarii (as he was now called) was tonsured as a monk, ordained as a priest, and enrolled at the Lavra of the Caves in Kiev. In 1821 he transferred to Kostroma Seminary, where he received the rank of archimandrite. He left this position in 1824, eventually settling in a rural hermitage in Kursk.
Kharlampovich, Konstantin Vasil'evich, and James Lawton Haney (translator and editor). Archimandrite Makarii Glukharev--Founder of the Altai Mission. Edwin Mellon Press, 2001. (Volume 6 in the series Studies in Russian History.)