The St. Irenaeus Award

The St. Irenaeus Award is given annually to an individual, group, or organization that lives the message of the Gospel and witnesses for Christ and the Orthodox faith. The award is presented on the feast day of St. Irenaeus, which is August 23 on the Eastern Orthodox calendar.

Rev. Fr. Moses Berry, 2013 St. Irenaeus Award Recipient

The second annual St. Irenaeus Award was presented to Rev. Fr. Moses Berry on Friday, August 23, 2012 at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Family Life Center in Town and Country, Missouri.


Fr. Moses' journey to Orthodox Christianity has been a uniquely American one. As a young non-denominational Protestant pastor in 1984, Fr. Moses and his wife encountered the Orthodox faith while experiencing the divine liturgy at an Orthodox church in Virginia. From that point both understood it would only be a matter of time when they would join the Ancient Christian Church.


Fr. Moses has been an Orthodox priest for twenty-five years. From 1988 to 1997 he was pastor of Christ the Good Shepherd church in South St. Louis, where he established an urban outreach ministry and assisted many East-African Orthodox immigrants in their transition to America.


Indeed, Fr. Moses soon made it his mission to remind both Orthodox and and other Christians of the church's early roots in Africa, one of the first regions of the world to accept the Christian faith. In 1992 he spearheaded the organization of the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black to connect ancient African Christianity and the faith of the church fathers to the African-American experience - a group whose spirituality he finds to be not far from that of the Orthodox Christianity. 


Since 1998 Fr. Moses as been pastor of the church of the Theotokos "Unexpected Joy" in Ash Grove, Missouri, located on his ex-slave ancestors’ family farm, where he combines pastoral ministry with racial reconciliation. His family's roots follow the course of American history and the path of hardship endured by African-American slaves and their struggle for freedom. The unique museum of African-American history he established on his farm is a testament to a people whose lives were forged witha  great deal of suffering and sadness, but also with much faith in the power of God.

Very Rev. John H. Erickson, 2012 St. Irenaeus Award Recipient

The first St. Irenaeus Award was presented to Very Rev. John H. Erickson on Thursday, August 23, 2012 at the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Family Life Center in Town and Country, Missouri.


A noted scholar and professor of church history and canon law, Fr. Erickson served as the dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York from 2002 to 2007. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including   .


Fr. John has also been involved in numerous ecumenical bodies, including as member of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation (1976-2003), the U.S. Eastern Orthodox-Oriental Orthodox Consultation, and a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ (1997-2001).   


He has also a member and past president of the Orthodox Theological Society of America and in 2008 spent time teaching at the Orthodox Christian seminary in Tanzania.


Fr. John's life of leading, preaching, teaching, and witnessing the gospel of our Lord and the Orthodox Christian faith to others fully exemplifies the attributes befitting the St. Irenaeus Award.


AXIOS, Fr. John!

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