The Very Rev. Archpriest Andrew Stephen Damick is pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church of Emmaus, Pennsylvania, and author of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy (Ancient Faith Publishing/Conciliar Press, 2011 and 2017), An Introduction to God (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2014) and Bearing God (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2017). He has been podcasting since 2007 and is host of the Amon Sûl, Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy and Roads from Emmaus podcasts, and co-host of The Areopagus Podcast. He speaks frequently at lectures and retreats both in parishes and in other settings, and his work is well-known throughout the English-speaking Orthodox world not only for his books and podcasts, but also via documentaries and online video.
Fr. Andrew was born in 1975 in Newport News, Virginia, to a U.S. Navy family that in 1983 became an Evangelical missionary family, living in Virginia, upstate New York and Ohio. In 1985, his family moved to the Pacific island of Guam, where they stayed through the end of his freshman year of high school in 1990, when they moved back to Ohio. After graduating from high school in 1993, Fr. Andrew moved with his family to North Carolina.
From 1994 to 2001, Fr. Andrew studied at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, while working as a professional theatre technician (stagehand), becoming a supervisor and trainer at NCSU’s Stewart Theatre and also working in various freelance production positions. During this time, he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Language and Literature, along with minors in Religion, Classical Studies, and Ancient Greek, as well as completing most of the coursework for a B.A. in Communication. While in college, he began reading about Orthodox Christianity and was received into the Orthodox Church at All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Raleigh at Pascha of 1998.
After graduating from the university in 2001, Fr. Andrew continued to work as a stagehand, technical theatre supervisor and theatrical lighting designer. In spring of 2002, he met Nicole Boury, the daughter of Bechara and Shirley Boury, and the two were married on August 17, 2003. In 2007, Kh. Nicole gave birth to their first child, Evangelia; in 2009 Elias was born; Raphael was born in 2012; and Iskander was born in 2017.
In September of 2004, Fr. Andrew and Kh. Nicole moved to northeastern Pennsylvania, where Fr. Andrew studied in the Master of Divinity program at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary until May of 2007. On May 26, 2007, he graduated summa cum laude with Distinction, with honors in the field of Church History. The title of his master’s thesis was “The Archbishop’s Wife: Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh of Brooklyn, the American Orthodox Catholic Church, and the Founding of the Antiochian Archdiocese (1880-1934).” Aside from the standard coursework, Fr. Andrew specialized in studying the history of Orthodoxy in America, and he also continued his previous study of Byzantine chant.
Fr. Andrew was ordained to the holy diaconate on October 30, 2005, by His Grace Bishop THOMAS of Oakland and Charleston at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and to the holy priesthood on October 29, 2006, by His Grace Bishop ANTOUN of Miami at his home parish of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Raleigh, North Carolina.
From June 2007 to June 2009, Fr. Andrew served as the Assistant Pastor at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, West Virginia, under the direction of the cathedral dean, the Very Rev. Olof H. Scott. In July 2009, he was appointed as pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
On October 2, 2016, Fr. Andrew was elevated by His Grace Bishop THOMAS to the rank of archpriest at St. Paul’s.
Fr. Andrew’s hobbies and interests include local and world history; folklore and mythology; science fiction and fantasy literature and film (most especially the works of J. R. R. Tolkien but also C. S. Lewis); scenic and art photography; English Medieval and Renaissance drama and poetry; and philology in ancient and modern languages. He has done some fiction writing based in Lithuanian folklore but hasn’t let the world see it yet.
His work has been published in First Things, The Word Magazine, By the Waters (the journal of St. Tikhon’s Seminary), Orthodox History (the website of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas), as well as many parish and diocesan newsletters and websites, and he authored three articles for the Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States.
He has also been a guest on numerous podcasts and video podcasts, including Fr. Thomas Soroka’s “Ancient Faith Today,” Jonathan Pageau’s “The Symbolic World,” the late Kevin Allen’s “Ancient Faith Today,” and Fr. Barnabas Powell’s “Faith Encouraged Live.”
He additionally serves on the editorial board of The Word Magazine (originally founded as Al-Kalimat by St. Raphael of Brooklyn), as a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese Department of Liturgics and Translations, and since 2013 as President of the Lehigh Valley Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood. Since 2007, he has served in the Communications Staff of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic.
Fr. Andrew is a co-founder and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA), and he also serves on the board of the St. Basil Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture and the forthcoming St. Constantine School of Lehigh Valley. He was also one of the founding administrators and editors of the OrthodoxWiki website, where he authored or made major editorial contributions to more than 250 articles.
Fr. Andrew has delivered public lectures on evangelism, apologetics, literature, ecology and Church history, as well as on other topics pertaining to Orthodox Christian spiritual life, at numerous parishes in the United States and Canada, as well as at Cornell University, Princeton Theological Seminary, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, the Antiochian Village, Penn State University, Lehigh University, Bucknell University, Eastern University, Grove City College and Muhlenberg College.
He has been a featured speaker at the Antiochian Archdiocese National Convention, the Connect Conference for Orthodox Young Adults, DoxaCon (a Christian science fiction, fantasy and fandom conference), the Ancient Faith Writing and Podcasting Conference (AFCon), and the St. Emmelia Orthodox Homeschooling Conference. He is also a co-founder and speaker at DoxaMoot (the Orthodox Christian Tolkien conference).
He has also given talks for St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF), the Antiochian Archdiocese’s Department of Christian Education, the Eagle River Institute in Alaska, the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Diocese of New England, and Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, and the Northeastern Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.
Fr. Andrew lives in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, with his wife Kh. Nicole and their four children.