The Holy Synod of Bishops is the supreme canonical authority in the Orthodox Church. It includes, as voting members, all the diocesan bishops of the Church. The Metropolitan is the ex officio Chairman of the Synod. In case of his absence, a Chairman is elected by the diocesan bishops present.
His Beatitude, our Metropolitan Tikhon
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada was born Marc R. Mollard in Boston, MA on July 15, 1966, the eldest of three children born to Francois and Elizabeth Mollard.
After brief periods living in Connecticut, France, and Missouri, he and his family settled in Reading, PA, where he graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984. In 1988 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, after which he moved to Chicago.
In 1989 he was received into the Orthodox Church from Episcopalianism and, in the fall of the same year, he began studies at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA. One year later he entered the monastic community at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery as a novice. He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in 1993, after which he was appointed Instructor in Old Testament and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, teaching Master level courses in the Prophets and the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. He also served as an Instructor in the seminary’s Extension Studies program, offering courses in the lives of the Old Testament saints, the liturgical use of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in patristic literature.
He collaborated with Igumen Alexander [Golitzin]—now Bishop of Diocese of the South of the Orthodox Church in America—in the publication of “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain” by Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press.
In 1995, he was tonsured to the Lesser Schema with the name Tikhon, in honor of Saint Patriarch Tikhon, Enlightener of North America. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. In 1998 he was elevated to the rank of Igumen, and in 2000, to the rank of Archimandrite.
In December 2002, he was named Deputy Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. Two years later—on February 14, 2004—he was consecrated to the episcopacy at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church. On May 9, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop.
On November 13, 2012, Archbishop Tikhon was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at the 17th All-American Council.
Bishop Alexander – Bishop of Dallas, and the Bulgarian Diocese
Bishop Alexander (Golitzin) was born in Burbank, CA in 1948 and raised attending Saint Innocent Church, Tarzana, CA. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He spent seven years pursuing doctoral studies at Oxford University in England under His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware]. During this time, he also spent two years in Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos.
After receiving his D.Phil. in 1980, Bishop Alexander returned to the US. He was ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood two years later. In 1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders. He served OCA missions in northern California and headed the Diocese of the West’s mission committee.
In 1989, Bishop Alexander took a teaching position with the Theology Department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, a position that he left at the end of April 2012. While teaching at Marquette University, he had been attached to Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Milwaukee, WI. For 22 years, he preached, taught and served at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, and witnessed to the Gospel and to Orthodox Christian theology at Marquette University. He helped attract a dozen Orthodox Christian students to doctoral work in theology at Marquette.
In June 2010, the Bulgarian Diocese initiated a search for a candidate to succeed His Eminence, Archbishop Kirill who reposed in the Lord in 2007. “Of the 22 possible candidates reviewed in the first phase of the search, after an intensive review process, two candidates were presented to the diocese’s Fifth Congress-Sobor in June 2011,” noted the diocesan Consecration Committee Chair, Archpriest Andrew Jarmus. “Bishop Alexander was the candidate elected by the Congress-Sobor’s clergy and lay delegates.”
In October 2011, the members of the OCA’s Holy Synod of Bishops elected Archimandrite Alexander Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese.
On Saturday, May 5, 2012, he was consecrated Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford, OH.
Bishop Alexander becomes the second Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese. He succeeds His Eminence, the late Archbishop Kirill [Yonchev]. Archbishop Kirill had overseen the diocese from 1964 to 2007; in 1976, Archbishop Kirill had brought the diocese under the omophorion of the Orthodox Church in America.
On March 30, 2016, Bishop Alexander was elected Bishop of Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese.