Father Mark Dismas Damron – a priest in the Orthodox Catholic Church.
I am 60 years old, and hail from Mingo County, West Virginia, deep in Appalachia, where I was raised in the holiness and independent Protestant tradition.
My parents moved north when I was young, looking for better opportunity, as did so many Appalachian people, so, I went to Junior High and High School in
Cincinnati Ohio. But we always remained close to family, and regularly returned "home".
I was an ordained Church of Christ minister, and worked as a teacher/instructor in both High School and College. I was the Education Director of the
Archaeological Field School in Abila, Jordan in the 1990s, which is where I first was introduced to the Orthodox tradition, eventually studying for the
priesthood, and being ordained a Priest in the Eastern Tradition.
I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters in Biblical Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology from Cincinnati
Christian University, and a Masters of Education from Antioch College.
I have three brothers and three sisters, and my father is alive and well, retired to Florida… I am the single father of three children. My oldest, a
daughter of 26, and just graduated from college, my middle child, also a daughter, is 22, is a free-spirit, and my youngest, my son, is 18, and finishing High
School and wants to become a chef.
I love my family, my god, and am committed to inclusion in the church … to outreach to all peoples, no matter their race, background, identity, or
gender, and most of all, to ministry to the poor and oppressed and to supporting the causes of peace and justice.
St. Dismas, my patron, is the name given to the criminal on the cross.