Sunday, May 9, 2021, was a very blessed day for the St. Thomas Greek Orthodox Community in Cherry Hill, NJ. His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America presided over the Divine Liturgy on the celebration of St. Thomas the Apostle, and at its conclusion, he announced the appointment of V. Rev. Fr. Christoforos Oikonomidis as the new Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of New Jersey.
The new Chancellor is well known in the Greek Orthodox Community of the Delaware Valley, as he has been serving as the Presiding Priest at St. Thomas for the last six years, having gained the respect and appreciation not only of his Parishioners but of the entire Greek Orthodox Community of the Greater Philadelphia area.
Fr. Christoforos Oikonomidis was born in Piraeus, Greece in 1982. In 2002 he was ordained Deacon by His Grace Bishop Damaskinos of Diavleia, later Metropolitan of Didymoteicho, and he served as the Archdeacon of the Metropolis of Nikaia for 5 years. He was ordained in 2007 to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan Alexios of Nikaia, and he was assigned as the Proistamenos at the Church of Prophet Elias in the City of Agia Varvara, Athens, Greece, which Parish he served for 8 years.
He is a graduate of the Ecclesiastical High School of Athens and the Theological School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He has completed the courses at the Master’s Program in the School of Theology of the University of Athens, in Liturgical Studies, under the direction of Professor Dr. George Filias, and he was recently assigned his Masters Thesis subject: “The Service of the Monastic Tonsure in the work of Dionysios, Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. “ In January 2021, he enrolled in the Masters of Theology Program of the Holy Cross School of Theology of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
In May 2015, he arrived in the United States of America, and on August 1, 2015, he was assigned to the Saint Thomas Greek Orthodox Church, in Cherry Hill, NJ, by Metropolitan Evangelos of Sardes, formerly of New Jersey. He immediately fully immersed himself in the serving of this Parish, which comprises over 650 families, by focusing his pastoral interest in two sectors: the Liturgical revival and the precious Youth of the Parish. In May 2019, he undertook the Renovation project of the Church, which he successfully completed in October 2019, and thus transformed Saint Thomas Church into a beautiful Byzantine Church, which is a
beacon of Orthodoxy and Hellenism in South Jersey.
We wish him a fruitful and blessed service at our Holy Metropolis of New Jersey!