HIS EMINENCE METROPOLITAN PANTELEIMON OF PELOUSION
Metropolitan of Pelousion (2004-)
Bishop of Ghana (1999-2004)
Date of Elevation to Metropolitan:
October 27, 2004
Date of Consecration:
Date of Election:
November 23, 1999
BIOGRAPHY: His Grace Panteleimon Named First Bishop of Ghana
On November 30, 1999, after nearly twenty years of service in Greece, South Africa, and Egypt, His Grace Panteleimon was elected as the first Bishop of Ghana by the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. His Grace currently oversees ten countries in Western Africa through the Orthodox Diocese of Ghana.
Bishop Panteleimon was born on the island of Kalymnos in Greece on May 14, 1955 with the name George Lampadarios. Three years later, he immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen in 1966. His Grace returned to Greece where he completed high school and later entered the Holy Monastery of St. Panteleimon in Kalymnos. At the monastery, he was ordained deacon in 1980 and elevated to the priesthood in 1983. Over the span of 15 years, His Grace served as a missionary priest in South Africa, a religion instructor in Greece, the General Vicar of the Archdiocese of Good Hope, and the Director of the Patriarchal Press Office in Alexandria, Egypt. Two and a half years later he was elected Bishop of Ghana. His Grace arrived in Ghana on January 18, 2000.
His Grace’s first visit as Bishop was to the village of Larteh. Bishop Panteleimon described the journey — which consisted of driving through thick green forests by small, poorly constructed houses and markets on roadways full of people selling fruits, ice water, nuts and fried bananas — as being “something else.” At Larteh, His Grace spoke to the people of the village with love in a small beautiful church too poor to replace a broken bell but enriched with beautiful Byzantine icons, a simplicity in design, and faithful Orthodox Christians.
Later that week, His Grace Panteleimon celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Abeka Lapaz (Accra). then presided over the Annual Spiritual Revival of the parishes of the Diocese of Ghana. Despite the hot weather and high humidity, many priests attended along with their parishioners. Most had to travel for three to five hours in order to reach the event. All wanted to be present for the national religious feast day, the Day of Orthodoxy for Ghana. During the festivities, His Grace addressed all the faithful who attended:
“Only, if we are united in true love, then we can make Orthodoxy grow in this beautiful country of Ghana. Orthodoxy is our home. Personally, I have left behind me my mother, my brother and sisters, my friends and my family to be here with you. You are now my family. I will be your spiritual Father and you will be my sons and daughters … I will always welcome you. I will always listen to your problems, and together we will strive to overcome them. The Church cannot solve all problems, but we can face them in a Christian way … I wish that all of us would be as one family. I want all of you to keep the Apostolic Traditions and Teachings. I want everyone to love one another.”
Biography from OCMC Magazine
Vol. 16, No. 1 (2001)